Composer, Organist. A notable transitional figure between the Baroque and early Classical periods. Lotti was possibly born in Hanover, Germany, where his Italian father was a Kapellmeister, and settled in his family's native Venice as a child. His first opera, "Il Giustino", was performed when he was 16. Most of his life was spent in service to St. Mark's Basilica, which he entered as a singer in 1689; he was first organist there from 1704 to 1736. Beyond Italy he was famed for his stage works and in 1717 the King of Saxony invited Lotti to inaugurate Dresden's new Hoftheatre with his operas "Giove in Argo" (1718) and "Teofane" (1719). Many of his lead female roles were written for his wife, soprano Santa Stella. After his return to Venice he focused exclusively on composing to liturgical texts. In 1733 he finally won the post he had coveted for decades, that of music director at St. Mark's; his best known piece, the "Miserere in D" (1733), was submitted as proof of his worthiness. Not long afterwards he was stricken with chronic edema and was bedridden until his death. He was buried at the historic Church of San Geminiano in St. Mark's Square, which was demolished under Napoleon's orders in 1807. No trace of his tomb exists. Present-day critics frequently remark on the "dual personality" Lotti displayed in his music. His sacred works are almost reactionary in style, utilizing voices without accompaniment in the Renaissance manner, while his operas anticipate Classicism with their bold, dramatic harmonies. Superior craftsmanship is consistent between them, however. Lotti's output includes 27 operas, four Masses, a Requiem, an Organ Mass, several oratorios and motets, and a book of madrigals (published in 1705, one of the last collections of its kind and further evidence of the composer's traditionalist side). He was also an important teacher. His finest pupils included Domenico Alberti, Benedetto Marcello, Baldassare Galuppi, and Jan Dismas Zelenka.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards