"The poplars, poplars, quickly go into the field..."
Listening to the sonorous song of the pioneers of the oratorios of Shostakovich's "the song of the forests", it is hard to believe that the genre of the oratorio was born in the Church. It was in Rome, at the end of the XVI century, when faithful Catholics began to gather in a special place at the Church - oratorios (from the Latin oratoria - eloquence) for reading and interpreting the Bible. Mandatory participant in these meetings was the music that accompanied the preaching and reading. So there was a special spiritual works of narrative warehouse for soloists, chorus and instrumental ensemble - oratorio.
In the eighteenth century appears secular oratorio, that is not the Church, and intended for concert performance. It was created by the great German composer Georg Friedrich Handel. Heroic Handel's oratorio, written on biblical themes, often heard in our days.
In those same years, blooms and close to oratorio genre - cantata.
New life cantata and oratorio gave Soviet composers. In their work reduced the differences between the two genres that existed in the past. Earlier oratorio, like Opera, was composed in any dramatic plot. In the cantata, as a rule, this story was not, she embodied a particular thought, idea. For example, cantata Glazunov written for the 100th anniversary of Pushkin's birthday. Now often the story of the cantata (for example, "Alexander Nevsky) and nasienie oratorio (as "the song of the forests" Shostakovich, with which we began began our conversation about oratorios, or "On guard for peace" by S. Prokofiev).
In our time, oratorios and cantatas, referred to as a major multi-part vocal-symphonic works devoted to the important events of people's lives.