Theodor Lotz : a biographical and organological study
Piddocke, Melanie Anne
This dissertation is a comprehensive study of the life and work of the Viennese woodwind instrument maker Theodor Lotz. Lotz is central to many of the most significant developments in woodwind instrument manufacture and compositions of late 18th century Vienna, and is associated with some of the greatest players and composers of the day. Despite this, no study has been undertaken into his life and many of his surviving instruments have not been studied. This study corrects this by examining both the biographical and organological aspects of this maker. In Chapter 1, the current knowledge of Lotz’s biography is examined for veracity. This has been achieved through consultation of archival sources such as birth and marriage registers and contemporary newspaper announcements. The biographies of the other significant Viennese makers have also been examined in order to determine their relationship to Lotz. Particular attention has been paid to those makers known to have associated with him. Chapter 2 is a comparative study of clarinets. The surviving clarinet by Lotz is the main focus, and it is compared to earlier Viennese instruments as well as other contemporary instruments in order to place Lotz’s instruments in context. Basset horns are the instruments for which Lotz is best known. Chapter 3 is a comparative study of the surviving basset horns, and includes instruments by Lotz which have not previously been studied. The comparative aspect of the study focuses most particularly on instruments by Doleisch, who also made significant numbers of basset horns in nearby Prague during Lotz’s lifetime. This chapter also includes a discussion on the basset clarinet. Chapter 4 studies Lotz’s work with bassoons and contrabassoons. As with Chapter 3, it includes a number of Lotz’s instruments which have not been studied before. It continues the comparative theme and examines not only Viennese instruments, but particularly those by August Grenser, whose bassoons are widely copied by modern makers. The attribution of the surviving flute by Lotz is examined in Chapter 5. Lotz’s involvement with the flute is examined through documentary evidence and the output of his students is examined in order to determine his level of influence on this instrument. Chapter 6 is a study of the two surviving oboe fragments by Lotz as well as the surviving cor anglais. As internal measurements have been impossible to obtain for many of these instruments, the comparative study has instead focussed on external aspects of decoration and design. The conclusion gives a summation of the evidence presented in the preceding chapters and is used to demonstrate Lotz’s unique contributions as an instrument maker and his impact on the future and design of woodwind instruments.