Antonio Lotti (±1667-1740): Crucifixus a 8

Crucifixus etiam pro nobis
sub Pontio Pilato.
Passus et sepultus est.

He was indeed crucified for us
at the hands of Pontius Pilate.
He died and was buried.

We remember Lotti today mostly for his eight-part setting (SSAATTBB) of the Crucifixus. But in fact he was a prolific composer who (as you might expect of someone who rose to be Maestro di cappella at St Mark’s, Venice) composed a large amount of church music. His contemporaries admired his music both for the density of its masterly counterpoint and the expressive elegance of his voice writing, qualities that are certainly on display here. In fact he wrote versions of the Crucifixus for 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8-, 9- and 10-part choirs although only this one receives regular performance.

Although nowadays it’s always performed somewhat anachronistically as a standalone piece Lotti’s Crucifixus a 8 is in fact an extract taken from a Credo that Lotti wrote during a brief period of employment at the court of  Dresden (1717–19). A further anachronism is that modern practise is to perform it unaccompanied, it works well as unaccompanied choral music but hearing it performed thus would have greatly surprised Lotti who wrote a figured bass part for it and would have expected to hear an organ accompaniment at the least. Enjoy :-)


Video Source: Crucifixus (Antonio Lotti) Tenebrae – YouTube. Published on Mar 15, 2012 by Jeffrey Stivers.

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