Music of the Week: March 1, 2024: Antonio Lotti – Missa a tre cori

Antonio Lotti: Missa à Tre Cori
Antonio Lotti: Missa à Tre Cori

Rediscovered among the Haverlin/BMI Collection of hundreds of original and rare musical manuscripts and scores donated to the Harvard University Library in 1996, the Mass for Three Voices (Missa a tre cori) by Antonio Lotti saw its first performance in the United States in that same year.

Lotti (1667–1740) was one of the key figures of German and Italian Baroque music, who inspired and greatly influenced famous composers of that period such as Zelenka, Bach, and Vivaldi. Bach had a copy of Lotti’s Missa Sapientiae in his music library.

Antonio Lotti was only 16 when his first opera was performed, and at the age of 25 he became second organist (and later chief organist) of Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice. Lotti, himself a contralto singer in his younger years, was married to soprano singer Santa Stella. Both were hired by the Kurfürst of Saxony, Friedrich August II, to come to Dresden and establish an Italian opera house at this German court. It is for this reason that much of Lotti’s music has survived in the Dresden libraries.


Antonio Lotti

Soprano Santa Stella (Wikipedia)

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