Lorenzani, Paolo

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Lorenzani, Paolo

Lorenzani, Paolo, Italian composer; b. Rome, 1640; d. there, Oct. 28, 1713. He was a pupil of Orazio Benevoli at the Vatican. Having failed to obtain Benevoli’s position after the latter’s death in 1672, he was given the post of maestro di cappella at the Jesuit church, the Gesù, and at the Seminario Romano in Rome in 1675; from 1675 to 1678, held a similar position at the Messina Cathedral. When Sicily was captured by the French, the Duc de Vivonne, who was the French viceroy, induced Lorenzani to go to Paris (1678); he found favor with Louis XIV, with whose financial support he purchased the post of Surintendant de la musique de la Reyne (1679); held that post until the Queen’s death (1683), then was maître de chapelle to the Italian Théatine religious order (1685–87). He produced the Italian pastoral Meandro e Fileno (Fontainebleau, Sept. 1681); having won the support of the Paris faction opposed to Lully, he produced an opera with a French libretto, Orontée (Paris, Aug. 23, 1687). This having failed, Lorenzani turned to the composition of motets, which proved his best works; the famous Paris publisher Ballard brought them out in an impressively printed ed. Ballard also publ. a book of Italian airs by Lorenzani. In 1694 Lorenzani returned to Italy, and was appointed maestro di cappella of the Cappella Giulia at the Vatican.


vocal:Sacred: Motet for 2 Voices and Basso Continuo (1675); Motet for 3 Voices and Bsso Continuo (1675); (25) Motets à I, II, 111, IV, et V parties (Paris, 1693); Mass for 2 Choirs and Basso Continuo; Magnificat for 2 Choirs and Basso Continue Seeu1ar : 4 airs and cantatas for Voice and Basso Continuo (publ. in the Mercure Galant, May 1680); (6) Airs italiens de M. Lorenzani (Paris, 1695); other airs, arias, and cantatas.


W. Gürtelschmied, P. L. (1640–1713): Leben, Werk, thematischer Katalog (diss., Univ. of Vienna, 1975).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire