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Antonio Lotti: Crucifixus & Credo

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: the Credo in F for choir and orchestra. This Credo is, in turn, a movement of a complete mass setting.

Lotti also wrote a setting of the Crucifixus for 10 voices, which is from his Credo in D minor; one for 6 voices which is from his Credo in G minor for double choir; two for 4 voices from his two Credo in B flat settings; and one for 5 voices. All of these works are available from Ancient Groove Music.

Crucifixus 8vv - SSAATTBB with organ

This motet is a section of a Credo in F, for four voices with string and continuo accompaniment, found in a manuscript in Dresden. Lotti lived and worked in Dresden from 1717-1719, though the work was likely written in Venice before that. For this section of the Credo, the continuo alone backs the choir; the remaining instruments are tacet, and the choir doubles to 8 parts. The excerpt's modern popularity comes from its publication in an 1838 collection of sacred music by Friedrich Johan Rochlitz (1769 - 1842), ‘Sammlung vorzüglicher Gesangstücke vom Ursprung gesetzmässiger Harmonie bis auf die neue Zeit’ (Important Pieces from the Origin of Regular Harmony to Modern Times).
This edition comes from the Sächsische Landesbibliothek, Dresden, a manuscript of the complete Credo in an Italian hand on Venetian paper. (The Credo itself is a movement of a complete mass found in Prague, the Missa Sancti Christophori.)
The original key signature has only one flat; E and A flats in the score have therefore been subsumed into the key signature to retain a familiarity with previous editions. The major editorial task is realising the figured bass and adjusting the figures for the revised key signature. Double barlines, cautionary accidentals, commas and fermata are editorial.

The Crucifixus for 8vv is available as a PDF for free download. Printed copies can also be purchased. An instrumental bass continuo part is available for purchase upon request. The complete Credo in F for choir with strings, and the complete mass (Missa Sancti Christophori) are also now available.

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Crucifixus 10vv - SSSAATTTBB

From the British Library, a complete Credo in D minor for SATB, strings and continuo. The original has three alto parts: this edition turns the third alto into a more comfortable tenor, making the part requirement SSSAATTTBB.

An instrumental bass continuo part is available upon request, and is free with orders of 11 or more copies. The complete Credo in D minor for choir with strings is also available. FREE RECORDING (as part of the Credo in D minor).

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Crucifixus 6vv - SSATTB

This work, for 6 voices, is a section from Lotti's Credo in G minor for double choir, strings and continuo.

Source: Berlin Staatsbibliothek, a manuscript in score of the complete Credo in G minor. Various 19th century published editions were also consulted. Original note values and pitch are preserved, though two flats have been added to the key signature.

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Crucifixus 5vv - SSATB

Source: Westminster Abbey Library: a loose set of sheets dating from the 1730s on Venetian paper in Lotti's own hand. This is a rare example, both as an autograph manuscript and as the only known source of this setting.

All the other Crucifixus motets can all be traced to a complete Credo, whereas no Credo has been found containing this piece. This manuscript has only recently been identified as an autograph. An edition of this work is available.

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Crucifixus Anthology - Six settings for 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 voices.

For the first time, Lotti's more familiar settings of Crucifixus for 6, 8 and 10 voices have been collated together with his much less well-known settings: one for 5 voices (SSATB), and two settings for 4 voices (SATB), taken from his two Credo settings in B flat. Organ accompaniment is included, though the works could all be performed unaccompanied. It is hoped this volume will prove useful to church choirs and concert ensembles alike.

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Credo in F (including Crucifixus 8vv) - SATB, 2 violin, 2 viola, bass continuo, keyboard

This edition comes from the Sächsische Landesbibliothek, Dresden, a manuscript of the complete Credo. Lotti worked in Dresden from 1717-1719, but it is likely that the work was written in Venice before this time. The use of two violas is indicative of Venetian practice, rather than that of Dresden. Ancient Groove Music has also discovered manuscripts in which the Credo is part of a complete mass setting in F, the Missa Sancti Christophori, also available.

The instruments play throughout the work, except for the Crucifixus, where the choir divides into 8 parts, accompanied only by the continuo. The strings then return in fanfare, to proclaim the Et resurrexit.
The major editorial tasks are the creation of a part reduction for the vocal score; realising the figured bass; and the transfer of source accidentals in the Crucifixus into the key signature.

Performers will require 2 full scores: one for the conductor and one for the keyboard continuo.

Performance time: 12 minutes.

YouTube video of Daejeon Philharmonic Choir with Camerata Antiqua Seoul conducted by Winfried Toll.

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Credo in D minor: (including Crucifixus 10vv) - SSSAATTTBB chorus, 2 violin, 2 viola, bass continuo, keyboard

From the British Library, an early 19th century ms in score. The continuo part is unnamed and contains no figures, but does have tremolos. As with the Credo in F, the work is mostly for four-part chorus, which expands for the Crucifixus to ten voices, and the strings are tacent for that section. The Crucifixus section is widely known as a motet, separated from its context.

Performers will require 2 full scores: one for the conductor and one for the keyboard continuo.

FREE RECORDING. Performance time: 12-15 minutes.

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Credo in B flat No. 1: (including Crucifixus 4vv) - SATB chorus, 2 violin, viola, bass continuo, keyboard

Source: Prague Castle Archive. A complete Credo for 4 voices throughout. Unlike Lotti's other Credos, this does not require more parts for any sections, though there are solo instructions (which could be performed by a semi-chorus).

Performance time: 12 minutes.

A computer synthesised audio track of this work.

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Credo in G minor: (including Crucifixus 6vv) - SATB double chorus, 2 violin, 2 viola, violoncello, bass continuo, keyboard.
Source: Berlin State Library.

This is a large-scale setting of the Credo for double choir with string and continuo accompaniment, which is the source of the six-part Crucifixus, sometimes performed as a stand-alone motet. While Lotti's other Credo settings feature four-part choirs that expand into larger vocal ensembles for the Crucifixus, this setting goes the other way, starting with two SATB choirs, and then reducing to SSATTB for the Crucifixus, which is performed without strings. As with the other settings, an Adagio for Et incarnatus est and a joyous fanfare for Et resurrexit restore the music of the Crucifixus to its rightful context.

The work is scored for two bass instruments: the basso continuo part and a violoncello part. Parts have been editorially created to allow a variety of bass instruments to perform the work: from one cello to a larger number.

FREE RECORDING. Performance time: 15 minutes.

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Missa Sancti Christophori: SATB divisi chorus, SATB soli, 2 violin, 2 viola, bass continuo, keyboard
Source: Prague Cathedral Archive, Prague. Also ms of the Credo, from the Dresden Sächsische Landesbibliothek. A complete mass setting for four voices, strings and continuo, which includes the Credo in F and Crucifixus for 8 voices (see above). The figured bass has been expanded to provide an editorial right hand keyboard part.

Lotti's mass settings are exclusively Kyries, Glorias and Credos. The practice of setting lengthy, musically complex and ostentatious music for these sections of the mass is typical of Italian church music, leaving the Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei to be performed as plainsong.

In this work, the music of the Benedictus and Agnus Dei reprises material from earlier sections of the mass. It is probable that this was done by Jan Dismas Zelenka, who often produced 'gestrechten' complete masses from incomplete settings by other composers. It is not known whether the Sanctus is similarly reprised from some other setting by Lotti, or is by Zelenka. The Kyrie, Gloria and Credo are found individually in other manuscripts, ascribed to Lotti, and their authorship is not in doubt.

Performers will require 2 full scores: one for the conductor and one for the keyboard continuo.

Performance time: 30 minutes.

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