This study fills a gap in general histories of the oratorio. The number of oratorio performances given in Venice from 1662-1809 was huge, yet the contribution of the city to the history of the genre is often overlooked. Denis and Elsie Arnold examine the fortunes of the genre in Venice, beginning with the arrival of the Oratorians in c.1660 and their establishment at the church of S. Maria della Consolazione (the Fava). The book charts the early success of oratorios by Legrenzi and Pallavicino in the latter part of the seventeenth century, the fallow years from c.1700-1740, and the great revival of interest in oratorio from the 1740s through to 1770 with works by Scalabrini, Jommeli, Galuppi and Bertoni. The volume features a list of all the oratorios given in Venice from 1662-1809. It also includes a list of singers which helps us to date a great deal of Venetian church music of the period.
This series was originally supported by funds made available to the Royal Musical Association from the estate of Thurston Dart. Its purpose is to provide a medium for specialized investigations of a topic, concept or repertory - studies of a kind that would not normally be feasible for commercial publishers and that would be too long for most periodicals.