Lolli, Antonio

Between 1728 and 1733-1802

Violinist; born at Bergamo, and supposedly self-taught. He was concertmaster to the Duke of Würtemburg from 1762 until 1773, when he went to St. Petersburg and was in the service of Empress Catherine II. until 1778. The next year he went to Paris, where he played very successfully at the Concert Spirituel. Following this he went to Spain, and in 1785 was in London. He spent most of his time in travel, and died in Sicily, after a lingering illness. Although he had brilliant execution, his playing was not essentially musical. He could play with ease the most difficult doublestops, octaves, tenths, double-shakes in thirds and sixths, harmonics, etc., but he could not play a serious piece. When in England he came near breaking down in a quartet of Haydn, which he played at the request of the Prince of Wales. The Emperor Joseph II., a good judge of music, called him " muddle-headed Lolli." His powers of execution must have been wonderful to atone for his want of feeling. His compositions are of little importance. He wrote only the air and had others supply the bass or the parts for other instruments.