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Esto mihi

author of text
Psalm 30: 2-5; Introit at Mass on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday

It is a sign of the high regard in which the Este family held courtly music that Duke Ercole I appointed Josquin to the role of maestro di cappella at Ferrara ahead of Heinrich Isaac in 1503, despite the now-famous letter written by the ill-fated male soprano and court spy Gian de Artiganova to Duke Ercole in 1502:

To me he [Isaac] seems well suited to serve Your Lordship, more so than Josquin, because he is better-natured and more companionable, and he will compose new works more often. It is true that Josquin composes better, but he composes when he wants to, and not when one wants him to, and he is asking for 200 ducats in salary while Isaac will come for 120—but Your Lordship will decide.

Esto mihi is from Heinrich Isaac’s well-known Choralis Constantinus, which the composer wrote in the years following his unsuccessful competition with Josquin. The work draws its text from Psalm 30, ‘In te, Domine, speravi’, the concluding statement of Savonarola’s unfinished second meditation from prison, Tristitia obsedit me.

from notes by Guy James © 2021


Josquin's legacy
CDA68379 Available Friday 29 October 2021


Part 1: Esto mihi
Track 20 on CDA68379 [2'48] Available Friday 29 October 2021
Part 2: In te, Domine, speravi
Track 21 on CDA68379 [0'49] Available Friday 29 October 2021

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