or·​a·​to·​rio | \ ˌȯr-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-ˌō How to pronounce oratorio (audio) , ˌär-\
plural oratorios

Definition of oratorio

: a lengthy choral work usually of a religious nature consisting chiefly of recitatives, arias, and choruses without action or scenery

Examples of oratorio in a Sentence

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The 1941 oratorio, after all, emphasizes intimacy over grandeur. Rick Schultz, latimes.com, "'The Love Potion': Tristan and Isolde, the Long Beach Opera way," 16 May 2018 Considering Matthew Shepard Composer-pianist Craig Hella Johnson and vocal ensemble Conspirare perform Johnson’s oratorio that remembers the young gay student who was murdered in Wyoming in 1988. Matt Cooper, latimes.com, "The week ahead in SoCal classical music: Partch, Pacific Symphony and more," 9 June 2018 Within this small boy, so modest in his manner, there were symphonies unwritten, suites and concertos and oratorios. Cynthia Ozick, New York Times, "One Last Book From a Virtuoso of the Short Story," 14 May 2018 Schumann created a nuanced new genre unfit for generic pigeonholes that includes aspects of opera, oratorio, chamber music and song. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "'Das Paradies': A giant globular tear as ticket to heaven," 4 June 2018 This jazz-gospel version of Handel’s famed oratorio as rearranged by Bob Christianson and Gary Anderson has become a holiday favorite in the Detroit Opera House. David Lyman, Detroit Free Press, "MOT's 2018-19 season includes 'Eugene Onegin,' 'Candide' and 'Grapes of Wrath'," 13 Apr. 2018 In Mulieribus vocal ensemble, three Portland State University choirs and some of the city’s finest classical singers will perform the oratorio during the Northwest Film Center’s screening of Dreyer’s film. OregonLive.com, "Joan of Arc's story gains a new dimension in film/concert pairing," 21 Jan. 2018 Music director Franz Welser-Most would conduct an abridged version of the oratorio, including all the parts with soprano solo and the big choruses. Special To The Plain Dealer, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Orchestra pulls off a save after illness strikes singers in Haydn's 'The Seasons' (review)," 19 Jan. 2018 The politically pointed oratorio was dedicated to Ché Guevara, and a group of students ran a Communist red flag up on the stage. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "Four radical and radically original pieces of music that blew up the modernist status quo in 1968," 21 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oratorio.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of oratorio

1724, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oratorio

Italian, from the Oratorio di San Filippo Neri (Oratory of St. Philip Neri) in Rome

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Time Traveler for oratorio

The first known use of oratorio was in 1724

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English Language Learners Definition of oratorio

: a large piece of music for a group of singers and musicians that is usually about a religious subject

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oratorio

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about oratorio

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marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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