Veni sancte spiritus
was universally accepted as a work by Josquin until 1985, when an attribution to his lesser-known contemporary Forestier was noticed in a manuscript considered to be of greater authority. Its credentials before that time seemed impeccable: ascribed to Josquin, it was showcased as the first piece in Ott’s collection of motets, Novum et insigne opus musicum
, published in 1537-8, and, with its brilliant construction around two canons at the fifth, seemed every inch the expression of the better-known composer’s legendary contrapuntal brilliance. Whether by Josquin or not, Veni sancte spiritus
is an extraordinary musical achievement, worthy to stand beside anything of its day; further, as one of the central pieces of the ‘Josquin canon’ recognised in the sixteenth century, it is an integral part of the picture of Josquin on which the modern view of the composer is based.
from notes by Andrew Kirkman © 2001