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Adolescentulus sum ego
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Adolescentulus sum ego is a setting of part of Psalm 118 (119 in the modern psalter), a popular source for composers at that time: Tye set one section, White four, Parsons one and Mundy two others, perhaps in collaboration, as Sheppard, Thomas Byrd and Mundy had together composed a setting of ‘In exitu Israel’, Psalm 114. The form of ‘Adolescentulus’ is modelled on the votive antiphon, which it was replacing in post-Marian times, scaled down but still substantial in its bipartite structure and cumulative richness of texture—hardly of a style to have merited the condemnation of the London clergyman John Field in his ‘An Admonition to the Parliament’ of 1572, fulminating that the Anglican service had ‘no edification, according to the Rule of the Apostle, but confusion; they tosse the Psalmes in most places like tennice-balls’.

from notes by Nicolas Robertson © 1989

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