Infantas was born in Córdoba
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...
in 1534, a descendant of Juan Fernández de Córdoba who had conveyed the two daughters, infantas
(hence the surname), of Pedro I of Castile to safety after the Battle of Montiel
The battle of Najera was of dubious long-term significance as Pedro of Castile and the Black Prince fell out over money. The Black Prince, affected by a dysentery, soon withdrew his support from Pedro and returned to Aquitaine...
in 1369. The family was still notable in Cordoba at the time of Fernando's birth and he enjoyed a privileged education, and later a patrimonio, or stipend, remitted to him in Rome from his family in Spain.
From 1572-1597 Infantas resided in Rome, voluntarily giving his services to a hospital for the poor. In 1577 Infantas came into conflict with Pope Gregory XIII
Pope Gregory XIII , born Ugo Boncompagni, was Pope from 1572 to 1585. He is best known for commissioning and being the namesake for the Gregorian calendar, which remains the internationally-accepted civil calendar to this date.-Youth:He was born the son of Cristoforo Boncompagni and wife Angela...
and the composers Palestrina
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition...
and Annibale Zoilo
Annibale Zoilo was an Italian composer and singer of the late Renaissance Roman School. He was a contemporary of Palestrina, writing music in a closely related style, and was a prominent composer and choir director in Rome in the late 16th century.-Life:He was born in Rome, but little...
over the reversal of reforms in Gregorian chant, at one point causing his sponsor Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....
to instruct the Spanish ambassador in Spain to intercede with the Pope.
In 1584 Infantas took holy orders and served a small church on Rome's outskirts. He had returned to Spain by 1608 and presumably died around 1610.
From 1584 till his death Infantas was constantly involved in theological debate. In later life was embroiled in the regalist
Jansenism was a Christian theological movement, primarily in France, that emphasized original sin, human depravity, the necessity of divine grace, and predestination. The movement originated from the posthumously published work of the Dutch theologian Cornelius Otto Jansen, who died in 1638...
and Molinist controversies. His Treaty on Predestination
(Paris, 1601), brought the charge of being an illuminist, if not a quietist, and the attention of the Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...
. At the end of his life, overwhelmed by his theological enemies he was reduced to beggary and died in poverty.
Infantas' theological views may have influenced his preference, aside from the then standard Marian motets, for predominantly Biblical text settings in his publications. This is most notable in two almost unique settings of the Symbolum Apostolorum, a Credo
A credo |Latin]] for "I Believe") is a statement of belief, commonly used for religious belief, such as the Apostles' Creed. The term especially refers to the use of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed in the Mass, either as text, Gregorian chant, or other musical settings of the...
according to the Apostle's Creed, not according to the ordinary of the mass. Infantas left no conventional mass setting. Michael Noone suggests that, although it possible that Infantas may have been aware of a setting by the French composer Le Brung printed in 1540, it is equally likely that Infantas believed his settings to be unique. A third setting was visibly absent from the Pater Noster sequence in Book III, possibly as a result of criticism.
Printed collections, Venice:
- 1578 Op.1 Sacrarum Cantiorum Liber I. 1st Book of Motets, 37 motets for 4 voices.
- 1578 Op.2 Sacrarum Cantiorum Liber II. 2nd Book of Motets, 30 motets for 5 voices.
- 1579 Op.3 Sacrarum Cantiorum Liber III. 3rd Book of Motets, a 6.
- 1579 Op.4 Plura modulationum. 101 exercises in 2 to 8 parts on the ten-note Gregorian chant initium of Psalm 116:1.
Notable individual works:
- Psalm Congregati sunt. Surtitled In oppressione inimicorum (printed in Book III) Prayer for victory over the Ottoman navy and lifting of the Turkish siege of Malta
Siege of Malta may refer to:* The Siege of Malta , in which the Ottoman Empire failed to dislodge the Knights Hospitaller** Siege of Malta, 1570 work of the Cretan writer Antonios Achelis, about the above...
- Psalm Ecce quam bonum. For the Sacred Treaty of 1570 for the Holy League
Holy League may refer to:* Holy League , AKA "League of Venice", alliance of several opponents of French hegemony in Italy, arranged by Pope Alexander VI...
between Venice, Spain and Rome for defence against the Ottoman navy.
- Canticum Moysis (Song of Moses, Exodus 15) Pro victoria navali contra Turcas (Book II, No.5) Commemoration of the third Battle of Lepanto (1571)
The Battle of Lepanto took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic maritime states, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire in five hours of fighting on the northern edge of the Gulf of Patras, off western Greece...
. This is the only known commemoration motet for one of Spain's most notable victories.
- Dum preliatur Michael. Only polyphonic setting of this text from the 16th Century.
- Fernando de las Infantas: Motetes. Ensemble Plus Ultra, dir. Michael Noone. Documentos Sonoros del Patrimonio Musical de Andalucía, Centro de Documentación Musical de Andalucía
Musical Documentation Center of Andalusia is an organization created in 1987 by the Ministry of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía to recover, preserve, catalog, classify and disseminate the musical heritage created in or related to Andalusia in all forms.Its current director is the musicologist...
. CD Almaviva, 2004.