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Lotti also composed twenty-eight stage works. He was granted leave in 1717 to go to Dresden to write an opera, completing three in a period of two years. When he returned after his final trip to that city in 1719, he kept the carriage and horses given to him for his return trip to remind him of his success. After this he remained in Venice. As composer he was clearly able to adapt to the stylistic demands placed upon him. He wrote in the Baroque idiom of the late seventeenth century, adjusting his style to the new, leaner harmony of the approaching Classical era. Above all, his love and mastery of contrapuntal and imitative writing dominates in his later years, and the composer became very highly regarded. Burney was moved to tears on hearing his music at St Mark’s in 1770, and reported that ‘Hasse regarded Lotti’s compositions as the most perfect of their kind’. That ‘kind’ is perhaps best regarded as a stile antico in which the composer imitated the style of a bygone age.
Lotti wrote many versions of the Crucifixus, for 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 9- and 10-part choirs. This version is written in 8 parts; the basses begin and the music unfolds organically towards an impressive cadence. The pungency of the music is obtained through the suspension, dissonance and resolution of the long slow lines. This gives way to quaver movement before moving back to the slow sustained harmonies of the opening.
from notes by William McVicker © 1997
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