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The Standard OratoriosTheir Stories, Their Music, And Their Composers by Upton, George P. (George Putnam), 1834-1919

The Standard OratoriosTheir Stories, Their Music, And Their Composers by Upton, George P. (George Putnam), 1834-1919

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THE
Standard Oratorios
THEIR STORIES, THEIR MUSIC, AND THEIR COMPOSERS
A Handbook
BY GEORGE P. UPTON

CHICAGO
A. C. McCLURG AND COMPANY
1893

[2]

Copyright
By A. C. McClurg and Co.
A.D. 1886.

[3]
PREFACE.

The "Standard Oratorios" is intended as a companion to the "Standard Operas;" and with this purpose in view
the compiler has followed as closely as possible the same method in the arrangement and presentation of his
scheme. The main object has been to present to the reader a comprehensive sketch of the oratorios which may
be called "standard," outlining the sacred stories which they tell, and briefly indicating and sketching their
principal numbers, accompanied in each case with a short biography of the composer and such historical
matter connected with the various works as is of special interest. The compiler has also included in his scheme
a sketch of the origin and development of the Oratorio as illustrated in its three principal evolutionary stages,
together with descriptions of several works which are not oratorios in the strict sense, but at the same time are
sacred[4] compositions written upon a large scale and usually performed by oratorio societies, such as Bach's
"Passion Music" and "Magnificat," Berlioz's, Mozart's, and Verdi's Requiems, Mendelssohn's "Hymn of
Praise," Handel's "Dettingen Te Deum," Schumann's "Paradise and the Peri," and Rubinstein's "Tower of
Babel."

As in the case of the "Standard Operas," the work has been prepared for the general public rather than for
musicians, and as far as practicable, technical terms have been avoided. Description, not criticism, has been
the purpose of the volume, and the various works are described as fully as the necessarily brief space allotted
to each would allow. The utmost pains have been taken to secure historical and chronological accuracy,
inasmuch as these details are nearly always matters of controversy. The favor which has been so generously
accorded to the "Standard Operas" leads the compiler to believe that the "Standard Oratorios" will also be
welcomed by those who enjoy the sacred music of the great masters, and that it will prove a valuable addition
to other works of musical reference.

G. P. U.
Chicago, September, 1886.
[5]
THE Standard Oratorios THEIR STORIES, THEIR MUSIC, AND THEIR COMPOSERS
1
CONTENTS.
PAGE

PREFACE 3
THE ORATORIO 9
BACH 31

Christmas Oratorio 33
The Saint Matthew Passion 39
The Magnificat in D 48

BEETHOVEN 51
The Mount of Olives 53
BENNETT 60
The Woman of Samaria 62
BERLIOZ 68
The Requiem 70
BRAHMS 78
The German Requiem 80
COSTA 82
Eli 84
[6]
DVOR\u00c1K 90
The Stabat Mater 92
GOUNOD 96
The Redemption 98
Mors et Vita 106
HANDEL 114

Israel in Egypt 117
Saul 125
Samson 132
The Messiah 140
Judas Maccab\u00e6us 149
The Dettingen Te Deum 155

HAYDN 159
The Creation 162
The Seasons 170
LISZT 177
Legend of the Holy Elizabeth 180
Christus 186
MACFARREN 191
St. John the Baptist 193
MACKENZIE 198
The Rose of Sharon 199
MENDELSSOHN 206

St. Paul 208
Hymn of Praise 213
Elijah 218
Christus 229

MOZART 234
Requiem 236
[7]
PAINE 245
St. Peter 246
ROSSINI 251
Stabat Mater 253
RUBINSTEIN 258
The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Standard Oratorios: Their Stories, Their Music, and Their Composers by George P. Upto
CONTENTS.
2
Tower of Babel 260
Paradise Lost 264
SAINT-SA\u00cbNS 267
Christmas Oratorio 269
SCHUMANN 271
Paradise and the Peri 273
SPOHR 280
Last Judgment 283
SULLIVAN 290
The Prodigal Son 292
The Light of the World 294
VERDI 301
Manzoni Requiem 303
SACRED MUSIC IN AMERICA 309
APPENDIX 329
[9]
THE STANDARD ORATORIOS.
THE ORATORIO.

The oratorio in its modern form is a musical setting of a sacred story or text in a style more or less dramatic.
Its various parts are assigned to the four solo voices and to single or double chorus, with accompaniment of
full orchestra, sometimes amplified by the organ. Like the opera, it has its recitative, linking together and
leading up to the various numbers. The origin of the word is to be found in the "oratory," or place of prayer,
where these compositions were first performed. Crescimbeni, one of the earliest musical writers, says: "The
oratorio had its origin from San Filippo Neri,[1] who, in his chapel, after sermons and other devotions, in order
to allure young people to pious offices, and to detain[10] them from earthly pleasures, had hymns, psalms, and
such like prayers sung by one or more voices." In tracing its evolutionary stages, its root will be found in the
moralities, mysteries, and miracle-plays of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, which were instituted for
the purpose of impressing Biblical events in symbolical form upon the early converts to the Christian Church.
These representations were entirely dramatic in character, and their subjects, though always sacred, were often
grotesquely treated, and sometimes verged on buffoonery. Among the actors, God, Christ, Satan, Mary, and
the angels nearly always appeared; later, the various virtues and vices were personified. The representations
were usually given in the streets or in fields, and sometimes on the water. The highest dignitaries of the
Church did not disdain to act in these plays, nor did their promoters hesitate at times to reduce the exhibition
to the level of a Punch-and-Judy show by the introduction of puppets cleverly manipulated. The earliest of
these miracle-plays in England were performed by the various London Companies. The Tanners, for instance,
produced the Fall of Lucifer. The Drapers played the Creation, in which Adam and Eve appeared in their
original costume,--apparently without giving offence. The Water-Drawers naturally chose the Deluge. In the
scene describing the embarkation of Noah's family, the patriarch has a great deal of trouble with his wife, who
is determined not to go aboard. She declares that if her[11] worldly friends are left behind, she will stay and
drown with them, and he can

"Rowe forth away when thou liste,
And get thee another wif."
Noah expostulates with her in vain, grows furiously indignant, and bids her
"Come in, wif, in twenty devill ways,
The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Standard Oratorios: Their Stories, Their Music, and Their Composers by George P. Upto
THE STANDARD ORATORIOS.
3

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