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n. pl. or·a·to·ri·os
A musical composition for voices and orchestra, telling a usually sacred story without costumes, scenery, or dramatic action.
[Italian, after Oratorio, the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri at Rome, where famous musical services were held in the 16th century.]
n, pl -rios
(Classical Music) a dramatic but unstaged musical composition for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, based on a religious theme
[C18: from Italian, literally: oratory2, referring to the Church of the Oratory at Rome where musical services were held]
or•a•to•ri•o(ˌɔr əˈtɔr iˌoʊ, -ˈtoʊr-, ˌɒr-)
n., pl. -ri•os.
an extended musical work usu. based upon a religious theme, for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra, and performed without action, costume, or scenery.
[1625–35; < Italian: small chapel < Late Latin ōrātōrium oratory2; so named from the musical services of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Rome]
A work for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra, usually of a religious or contemplative nature.