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Savonarolan texts were very important to the Este court and they continued to be set by a series of composers with links to Ferrara and the Este family. The first to set Infelix ego was Adrian Willaert, another Oltremontani composer, famous for his long career as maestro di cappella at St Mark’s, Venice. Between 1515 and his appointment at San Marco in 1527, Willaert was in the employ of various members of the Este family. Looking back to Josquin’s Miserere, Willaert’s Infelix ego uses a descending and ascending cantus firmus of Miserere mei, Deus high in the texture, with the words of Psalm 50 echoing in and out of focus and culminating as the other five voices join the final statement.
from notes by Guy James © 2021