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Music in the making. Produced by Milliken university under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. School of Music presents concert vocalist Norval in a recorded consideration of the importance of the oratory O and choral music. First Professor Norval would like you to listen to the heavens are telling by Haydn.
You have just heard the heavens are telling and impressive choral number with three solo voices composed by Haydn. In talking about the oratory or as an important type of choral music we not only have to think of the great polyphonic era which preceded it but we are immediately reminded the opera and its early beginnings because curiously enough the year 16:00 witnessed the performance of both the first opera and oratory Oh. Now as we examine the score of the first auditoria we see immediately its musical style is similar to that of the early opera which is almost what I try to TiVo this work was first performed in the auditorium something they've only chatted in Rome 10 months before the performance of the first opera patties in Florence. This first auditorium has full instructions to the staging dancing and other elaborate details. The only difference between these early operation oratory hours was that one was secular and the other sacred. Early operas were in three acts while oratory as were two also comic
characters were absent from the sacred work but appeared in the operas. The word oratory or in music was always associated with the idea of sacred drama from the very beginning when groups of singers started to meet in the auditorium of Santa Maria de Valley challenge in Rome. There was formed a society that called themselves the oratory and these religious dramas depicting a Bible scene dramatizing the life of a saint or some personification of the forces of good and evil were extremely important in developing the concept of drama in a period otherwise barren of any manifestation of it. Of course if we seek the original source from which the oratory is brang we find it in the miracle of morality and mystery plays of the Middle Ages which are often given in the church as well as in the square in front of the church. The auditorium gradually was confined to the church and concert halls but even today an oratory or intensely dramatic in character such as Mendelssohn's Elijah is
to be formed in operatic style. We shall now hear the tenor Aria if with all your hearts from Elijah preceded by Arthur to TiVo.
One can see how easy it would be to adapt this to the stage. If it is correct as it seems to be that dogmatic religion is being combated in our age it is well that there is within our art music a type of work in which spiritual aspirations is the keynote. We have many great choral works written by such men as Handel and Bach. But time doesn't allow us to delve into their music. However I am sure most of you have heard the Messiah by Handel and St Matthew Passion by Bach. In closing you will hear the choral number. Achieve It is glorious work from the creation by Haydn. In such music many free souls can find an outlet for their religious feeling. Otherwise Im completely unsatisfied by the tenets of doctrine.
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Music in the making
Importance of the oratorio in choral music
Producing Organization
Millikin University
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
In this program, Hubert Norville discussed the "Importance of the Oratorio in Choral Music," with examples from the works of Haydn.
Series Description
Instructional comments and musical illustrations using faculty and students from the Millikin University School of Music. The first thirteen programs in the series focus upon historical aspects of music. The second half of the series explores music's technical side.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Producing Organization: Millikin University
Speaker: Norville, Hubert, 1905-1986
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-8-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:19
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Chicago: “Music in the making; Importance of the oratorio in choral music,” 1962-03-16, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 21, 2023,
MLA: “Music in the making; Importance of the oratorio in choral music.” 1962-03-16. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 21, 2023. <>.
APA: Music in the making; Importance of the oratorio in choral music. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from