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oratorio

[ awr-uh-tawr-ee-oh, -tohr-, or- ]
/ ˌɔr əˈtɔr iˌoʊ, -ˈtoʊr-, ˌɒr- /
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noun, plural or·a·to·ri·os.

an extended musical composition with a text more or less dramatic in character and usually based upon a religious theme, for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra, and performed without action, costume, or scenery.

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Origin of oratorio

1625–35; <Italian: small chapel <Late Latin ōrātōriumoratory2; so named from the musical services in the church of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Rome
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for oratorio

oratorio
/ (ˌɒrəˈtɔːrɪəʊ) /

noun plural -rios

a dramatic but unstaged musical composition for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, based on a religious theme

Word Origin for oratorio

C18: from Italian, literally: oratory ², referring to the Church of the Oratory at Rome where musical services were held
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for oratorio

oratorio

A musical composition for voices and orchestra, telling a religious story.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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