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Definition a musical composition for voices and orchestra — usually based on a religious text
  • During the war he decided he wanted to become a composer and write oratorios and cantatas.
  • He and Miss Giesbrecht are working together on a cantata for the music festival.
    Joy Kogawa  --  Obasan
  • Well, neither do I. The closest I came to classical music in my youthwas Procol Harum ripping off a Bach cantata for "A Whiter Shade of Pale."
    Thomas C. Foster  --  How to Read Literature Like a Professor
  • A Scarlatti cantata sung by Brian Asawa flows from the portable CD player on the desk.
    Haruki Murakami  --  After Dark
  • "Hurrah!" cried the three hundred voices again, but instead of the band a choir began singing a cantata composed by Paul Ivanovich Kutuzov: Russians!
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • "It's from Cantata 147, the one that in English has the title Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."
    William Styron  --  Sophie's Choice
  • He carried about Amelia's white cashmere shawl, and having attended under the gilt cockle-shell, while Mrs. Salmon performed the Battle of Borodino (a savage cantata against the Corsican upstart, who had lately met with his Russian reverses)—Mr. Dobbin tried to hum it as he walked away, and found he was humming—the tune which Amelia Sedley sang on the stairs, as she came down to dinner.
    William Makepeace Thackeray  --  Vanity Fair
  • ...and weeklies gorgeously illustrated with portraits of young women who had recently been manicure girls, not very skilful manicure girls, and who, unless their every grimace had been arranged by a director, could not have acted in the Easter cantata of the Central Methodist Church; magazines reporting, quite seriously, in "interviews" plastered with pictures of riding-breeches and California bungalows, the views on sculpture and international politics of blankly beautiful, suspiciously...
    Sinclair Lewis  --  Babbitt
  • I write a letter to Aunt Emily with a copy of the cantata and circle the sections that Stephen has composed.
    Joy Kogawa  --  Obasan
  • The footman, who was distributing leaflets with Kutuzov's cantata, laid one before Pierre as one of the principal guests.
    Leo Tolstoy  --  War and Peace
  • Not only that, not only unbreakable but compressed—made so that you can play an entire symphony, say, or a whole Bach cantata on one side of a single record.
    William Styron  --  Sophie's Choice
  • Why should she giggle when the little chapel was suddenly suffused by the grief of a single contralto voice and the strains of that tragic cantata Schlage doch, gewunschte Stunde?
    William Styron  --  Sophie's Choice

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