The History of a Baroque Oratorio examines the internal dynamics and cultural history of Fux's La Deposizione dalla Croce as a definitive examplar of the Viennese sepolcro oratorio. With the sovereign exception of masterworks by Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi, the scholarly literature on baroque music is strikingly characterised by a tendency to assimilate individual works within broad, generic studies, rather than to recover the reception of such works as self-standing entities. This book, by contrast, affords an opportunity to consider for the first time the historical and aesthetic integrity of a single work from the tradition of the Viennese oratorio. It thereby affords a vital space in which to examine not only the tradition itself, but also the self-contained aesthetic object which derives from this tradition as a substantive whole. Written as the prelude to a fundamental evaluation of Fux's musical discourse, The History of a Baroque Oratorio is also offered as an investigation of the relationship between generic prototypes and the individual musical imagination during the High Baroque period.