PAOLO LORENZANI (1640 - 1713)
Paolo Lorenzani was born in Rome in 1640 as part of an artistic family. Few details remain as to his childhood, and a more accurate history starts in 1670. He was obviously a gifted singer who held several major posts as choir master in various churches. He eventually became choir master at the Cathedral in Messina, but fled with the French garrison to Paris when the Spanish invaded.
At that time Lully reigned supreme in the French capital, his aim being to banish all Italian influences so that French music could flourish. There was an immediate difference of interests, and while open hostilities never erupted between the two, it was obvious that both took whatever steps they could to undermine the influences each other possessed. Fortunately for Lorenzani the king, Louis XIV, became frequented with his music, and by both direct and indirect means helped to establish Lorenzani as a major French musical figure. Public approbation was more sparing.
Deaths within the Royal household lost him all influence at court in 1683. He tried to adopt a more French style to enter the 'commercial' market, and had unsuccessful attempts at writing opera. By now Lully was dead, but Lorenzani's life was no easier, and in 1694 he accepted the post of choral director at the Vatican in Rome. Seemingly he had made such an impression on the musical scene in Italy before his departure for Rome. He was to fill many more important roles in Rome in the following years, and appears to have been an influential musical figure, but he retained his position at the Vatican until his death in 1713.