November 28, 2007
Antonio Lotti, famous organist and composer, was born either in Venice or Hanover about 1666. His father was court Kapellmeister in Hanover about 1667. Antonio died in Venice, Jan. 5, 1740. Pupil of Legrenzi at Venice, where he produced an opera, Giustino, at the age of 16, Lotti was chorister at San Marco in 1687, 2nd organist there in 1692, and from 1704 to 1736, 1st organist and maestro di cappella. He left only once, in 1717-19, for two years spent in Dresden at the Crown Prince’s invitation. He took a company of singers with him, and successfully produced several operas. A foremost representative of the Venetian school, Lotti stands midway between the old contrapuntists and the freer style of A. Scarlatti, Handel, etc. During his dramatic period (1683-1719) he brought out 16 operas in Venice, one in Vienna, and three in Dresden (only in these last did he employ wind-instruments, so fearful was he of overpowering the voices). His sacred music forms the most important part of his works, and includes four oratorios, many masses, motets, Misereres, etc., none of which were published during his lifetime. His most famous work is a Miserere with Crucifixus. Alberti, Gasparini, Galuppi, and Marcello were among his pupils. He was married to the noted soprano Santa Stella.