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The main Latin text is a quasi-political screed in support of peace in Italy; it is set very syllabically, giving the work momentum and a sense of inevitability. Quis numerare queat closes with an extended sequence of falling thirds in the highest part, a technique thought to be archetypal of Josquin’s writing, as demonstrated in the list of composers in Nymphes des bois. As Quis numerare queat is thought to predate Nymphes des bois by over a decade, it is possible that Compère’s work provided Josquin with inspiration for his own use of the technique.
from notes by Guy James © 2021