A History of the Oratorio: Vol. 3: the Oratorio in the by Howard E. Smither

By Howard E. Smither

The Oratorio within the classical Era is the 3rd quantity of Howard Smither's huge History of the Oratorio, carrying on with his synthesis and significant appraisal of the oratorio. His entire examine surpasses in scope and therapy all past works at the topic. A fourth and ultimate quantity, at the oratorio within the 19th and 20th centuries, is forthcoming.

In this quantity Smither discusses the Italian oratorio from the 1720s to the early 19th century and oratorios from different components of Europe from the 1750s to the 19th century. Drawing on works that characterize a variety of forms, languages, and geographical components, Smither treats the overall features of oratorio libretto and tune and analyzes twenty-two oratorios from Italy, England, Germany, France, and Russia. He synthesizes the result of really expert stories and contributes new fabric in line with firsthand examine of eighteenth-century tune manuscripts and published librettos.

Emphasizing the massive variety of social contexts during which oratorios have been heard, Smither mentioned examples in Italy corresponding to the Congregation of the Oratory, lay contrafraternities, and academic associations. He examines oratorio performances in German courts, London theaters and English provincial fairs, and the Parisian live performance spirituel. notwithstanding the amount concentrates totally on eighteenth-century oratorio from the early to the past due Classical kinds, Smither contains such transitional works because the oratorios of Jean-Francios le Seur in Paris and Stepan Anikievich Degtiarev in Moscow.

A heritage of the Oratorio is the 1st full-length historical past of the style given that Arnold Schering's 1911 research. as well as synthesizing present thought of the oratorio, this quantity contributes new info on relationships among oratorio librettos and modern literary and non secular idea, and at the musical ameliorations between oratorios from various geographical-cultural regions.

Originally released in 1987.

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I waited to hear the last chorus, which, though it was sung by book, was as light and unmeaning as an opera chorus, which must be got by heart. 47 There are, however, some discrepancies: Burney surely did not hear an oratorio "in that church," strictly speaking, for such performances invariably took place in the oratory attached to the church; and what Burney calls "matins" was probably a litany, traditional in this period for the oratory service, as mentioned above. Burney's comment about the last chorus's being "sung by book" could as well pertain to the entire work and to the tradition at this and other oratories.

Johnson, "Oratorio," p. 47. 23. , p. 65; Johnson, "Oratorio," p. 50. Z4. For eighteenth-century documents referring to payments for performances at the Chiesa Nuova in Rome, see Johnson, "Oratorio," pp. 47—66, passim, and her Appendix A. For details of financing oratorio performances by the Florentine Oratorians in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, see Hill, "Florence II," PP- z^-SS25. " 26. Cf. Johnson, "Oratorio," p. 48: "Oratorios were only occasionally presented earlier in the eighteenth century.

Such performances also included larger and more varied orchestras than those of the Oratorians as well as better personnel, often including singers from the opera rather than the church musicians who performed in the Oratory. At times the confraternity brothers lavishly decorated their oratories to approximate a theater and constructed special galleries to accommodate the large crowds they anticipated. A description by the diarist of the Compagnia di S. 9, shows the lengths to which the brothers went to create a theatrical environment for the performance: A stage having been erected, it seemed well to make it go all the way, that is, taking the entire front of the altar platform.

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