Definition of oratorio in English:

oratorio

Line breaks: ora|torio
Pronunciation: /ˌɒrəˈtɔːrɪəʊ
 
/

noun (plural oratorios)

A large-scale, usually narrative musical work for orchestra and voices, typically on a sacred theme, performed without costume, scenery, or action. Well-known examples include Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Messiah, and Haydn’s The Creation.
More example sentences
  • Born in Edinburgh, he was a violinist, conductor and teacher whose compositions included operas, oratorios, songs, concertos, chamber and orchestral works.
  • She has performed in many operas, operettas, musicals and oratorios.
  • In fact, the work as a whole is more on the scale of an oratorio like Handel's Messiah than of any typical jazz recording.

Origin

Italian, from ecclesiastical Latin oratorium 'oratory', from the musical services held in the church of the Oratory of St Philip Neri in Rome.

More definitions of oratorio

Definition of oratorio in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day grammarian
Pronunciation: grəˈmɛːrɪən
noun
a person who studies and writes about grammar