|An extract from the opening of Lotti's 'Crucifixus'|
His work is considered to be a bridge between the Baroque and Classical eras, and is thought to have influenced some of the greatest composers of his time such as Bach and Handel, who both had copies of Lotti's mass, 'Missa Sapientiae'. I myself am a great lover of polyphony; something which I feel is slightly neglected in most of today's contemporary choral writing. Other well-known composers of the genre include Tallis (1505 - 1585), Byrd (1540 - 1623) and Palestrina (1525 - 1594), all of whom came from the Renaissance period, where polyphony first began. Lotti is most famous for his 'Crucifixus' in 8 parts. Although it is not generally known that this motet actually comes from a larger work: 'Credo in F minor for choir and orchestra'.
Note the harmonic pattern of each of the vocal entries in the extract on the right. With every other entry, Lotti creates a semitone clash that sounds both mysterious and beautiful, which reflects the sad tone of the text about Christ's crucifiction. These clashes become even more satisfying when each of them resolve on the following beat. Despite the use of polyphony at the beginning and end of the piece, there are several moments and sections in which Lotti uses a homophonic texture to great effect, such as the second section with the text, 'crucifixus etiam pro nobis' meaning: he was crucified for us. For me, the obvious climax of the piece is at 2.10, where the voices reach their higher tessitura, and there is a natural crescendo towards the text, 'passus et sepultus est', which is loosely translated means, 'suffered and was buried.'