By Howard E. Smither
Howard Smither has written the 1st definitive paintings at the background of the oratorio on account that Arnold Schering released his Geschichte des Oratoriums in 1911. This quantity is the 1st of a four-volume complete learn that provides a brand new synthesis of what's recognized thus far in regards to the oratorio.
Volume 1, divided into 3 components, opens with the exam of the medieval, Renaissance, and early Baroque antecedents and origins of the oratorio, with emphasis on Rome and Philip Neri's Congregation of the Oratory and with particular recognition to the earliest works for which the time period oratorio turns out acceptable. the second one half recounts the improvement of the oratorio in Italy, circa 1640-1720. It studies the social contexts, consumers, composers, poets, librettos, and tune of the oratorio in Italy, in particular in Vienna and Paris.
The approach tailored during the paintings is to regard first the social context, quite the conditions of functionality of the oratorio in a given sector and interval, then to regard the libretto, and at last the track. for every geographic sector and interval, the writer has chosen for targeted awareness a number of oratorios that seem to be rather very important or consultant. He has demonstrated the data provided within the really expert literature every time attainable through connection with the track or files. In a few parts, specific seventeenth-century Italy, within which quite few earlier reviews were undertaken or secondary assets have confirmed to be insufficient, the writer has tested the first resources in manuscript and published shape -- song, librettos, and records of early oratorio background. remarkable examine and clever integration of disparate parts make this advanced, diffuse topic either readable and available to the scholar of music.
Volume 2, The Oratorio within the Baroque period: Protestant Germany and England, and quantity three, The Oratorio within the Classical Era, proceed and extend the examine of oratorio heritage. even though this sequence used to be initially introduced as a three-volume learn, Smither will finish with a fourth volume.
This new work--the first English-language learn of the heritage of the oratorio becomes the normal paintings on its topic and an everlasting contribution to song and scholarship.
Originally released in 1977.
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Additional info for A History of the Oratorio: Vol. 1: The Oratorio in the Baroque Era: Italy, Vienna, Paris
16—59; Wagner, Einführung, 1:113—31; and W. Irtenkauf, "Offizium," in MGG, 9:cols. 1907-10. 7. Regarding this use of the term historia, seeAnalecta hymnica, 5:6; W. Blankenburg, "Historia," in MGG, 6:col. 466; and "Wagner, Einführung, 11301. 8. For surveys of the rhymed office (also called historia rhythmata or rimata), see Wagner, Einfüfrung, 1:300—3 18, 3:315—19, 3:349—51; and W. Irtenkauf, "Reimoffizium," in MGG, ri:cols. 171—73. in Analecta hymnica, vols. 8, 413, and 45. 9. Music and text printed in Brambach, Historia.
The work plays a role in the history of the oratorio because it was performed in a Roman oratory and because it no doubt exerted an influence on other works performed in oratories; yet as a staged work it is closer to opera than to oratorio. The 6 The Oratorio in the Baroque Era: Italy, Vienna, Paris latter, as mentioned above, is essentially an unstaged genre throughout the Baroque era. The principal question of terminology concerning sacred dramatic music of seventeenth-century France is that of the classification of such music composed in Paris by Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
Yet these dialogues may be classified by their texts into two groups: ( i ) those with dramatic or narrative-dramatic texts and thus with dialogue among personages and (z) those with essentially reflective texts without personages. The works in group ι are much like oratorios dating from the 16605 on, but they tend to be much shorter: those in one structural part range from about eight to twenty-six minutes, and those in two parts range from about seventeen to sixty-four minutes. Since the term oratorio was inconsistently used in the mid-century period, one cannot be certain whether the works in group ι were designated oratorio because they were recognized as a genre or only because they were intended to be performed in an oratory.