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Perotin [Original recording reissued]

Perotin , The Hilliard Ensemble Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Price: $16.64 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Perotinus: Viderunt Omnes11:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Anonymous: Veni Creator Spiritus 7:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Perotinus: Alleluia Posui Adiutorium 7:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Anonymous: O Maria Virginei 4:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Perotinus: Dum Sigillum 7:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Anonymous: Isaias Cecinit 1:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Perotinus: Alleluia Nativitas 8:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Perotinus: Beata Viscera 6:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Perotinus: Sederunt Principes11:57$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble’s inspired collaboration began in 1993 with the groundbreaking recording Officium and has resulted in consistently inventive music making ever since. At that first meeting Garbarek’s saxophone, soaring as a free-ranging ‘fifth voice’ with the a cappella Ensemble, gave the first indications of the musical scope and emotional power ... Read more in Amazon's Hilliard Ensemble Store

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Perotin + Leonin: Magister Leoninus-Sacred Music from 12-century Paris
Price for both: $29.14

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Product Details

  • Performer: The Hilliard Ensemble
  • Composer: Perotin
  • Audio CD (April 18, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued
  • Label: Ecm Records
  • ASIN: B000025ZXO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,523 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It would be impossible to adequately describe the inherent haunting beauty of Perotin's music, or to fully detail its far-reaching influence in latter-12th-century France. The opening "Viderunt omnes" is a perfect illustration of the surprising vitality and highly charged sense of forward motion that can be obtained with relatively simple rhythmic impulses and harmonic devices. The male voices of the Hilliard Ensemble generate an electrifying resonance that vibrates everything in the room that's not solid or nailed down. You can literally feel this music, ringing with natural harmonics and set to body-moving rhythms. Yes, it's religious music, intended for lofty cathedral spaces; but it moves, and it's moving, and this recording gives it to you full blast. --David Vernier

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Hilliard Ensemble's greatest works November 24, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Perotin (or Magister Perotinus) was at the forefront of polyphony as it emerged in the twelfth century, together with Leonin (Magister Leoninus). Paul Hillier's scholarly sleeve notes describe the processes at work in his music far better than a short review could; suffice it to say that the style of some of the organum pieces has influenced many a twentieth century composer, including the minimalist Steve Reich, whose views are quoted in the notes. Perotin is not the only composer represented in the programme - some of the pieces are anonymous, although this does not detract from their musical strength in any way.
In a nutshell, the organum works are founded on plainchant, which is sung as part of the performance. Some voices sing the chant in extremely long note values, so that the progressions of the melody are hard to distinguish. Meanwhile, higher voices dance through a series of rhythmically-charged motifs, overlapping with each other and producing an astonishing alternation of dissonances and consonances, breathtaking to hear. The opening piece, the Christmas motet "Viderunt omnes," is a particularly fine example of this.
Other works in the programme sound closer to the sound world of Guillaume de Machaut: "Dum signillium" and "Veni Creator spiritus" are two such pieces, the former sung by tenors John Potter and Rogers Covey-Crump whilst the latter adds counter-tenor David James. Another short motet, "Isaias cecinit," repeats the same material for new verses of text, like a hymn tune with a descant at the end.
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64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Middle Ages Brought to Life February 22, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I bought the Hilliard Ensemble's Perotin recording after reading the section on the evolution of medieval music from plainsong to organum in Grout's history of Western music. Grout praises Perotin's music, and this recording shows that praise to be well justified. The music is magnificent: dark, rich, full of mystery and awe, quintessentially medieval in sound. The Hilliard Ensemble's interpretations are superb and capture all the richness and power of this great idiom. The music communicates the reverance, awe, and, even fear, that the people of the Middle Ages must have felt in approaching a God who, after thousands of years of silence to most of the world, had revealed Himself to His creation. The Viderunt omnes, Veni creator spiritus and beata viscera are particularly fine, the Viderunt being possibly the finest surviving music of the age. I also highly recommend the Hilliard Ensemble recordings of Medieval English music, Walter Frye, the Machaut Mass, Gesauldo Responsoria, and Tallis. I also own Paul Hillier's recording, "The Age of Cathedrals" with his American ensemble, The Theatre of Voices, and value it highly.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Otherworldly December 21, 2000
Format:Audio CD
The overall audio effect of this disc is truly haunting and otherworldly. The rich recording and the skilful use of vocal drones make you feel as if you are in a vast and dark cathedral, lit only by stained glass and candlelight.

This is an excellent performance. Though recorded by many other ensembles, the -Beata Viscera- on this record is soaring and definitive.

This record would be appreciated, not only by confirmed early music fans, but by those who love all other sorts of slow and ethereal music. The harmonies are beautiful, and even sound somewhat edgy to the contemporary ear, largely because the modal melodies and open fifths do not map easily into our expectations for major or minor keys.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be TEN stars! January 2, 2001
Format:Audio CD
If I could have only one record, this would be it. It is one of the most perfect vocal performances ever recorded, of some of the most unbelievable music ever written. Intricate, intelligent, detailed, nuanced; incredible pitch, subtle rhythm, spectacular technique; all in the service of a soaring devotional spirit that would probably astonish Perotin himself. I've owned this record for something like 8 years and it amazes me all over again every time I listen to it.
Let's hope heaven sounds this good -- if I were the angels, the Hilliards would make me nervous.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely stunning! June 23, 2005
By Chris
Format:Audio CD
I am a musical novice. I was brought up listening to Pink Floyd, Santana, Joni Mitchell, and so on. I could not read music to save my life. Then someone introduced me to some Josquin Des Pres Rennaissance Polyphony - Missa L'homme arme sexti toni, Agnus Dei, to be specific - and I was totally hooked.

A few years later, someone introduced me to this CD, and I was even more taken. For some reason, I really like the Perotin-composed pieces - tracks 1, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9. The Beata viscera (track 8) is other-worldly, and quite possibly one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard in my entire life!

You don't have to be a musical scholar to enjoy this - it's simply beautiful!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare gem!!! March 19, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Paraphasing Gramophone, this recording clearly is a contender for the desert island status. It's a gem!!! I love the vocal style of the Hilliard, so I own quite a few of their recordings, but this one stands out even among them. I am not an expert, I can hardly tell Josquin Desprez from Arvo Pärt. But even someone like me cannot fail to appreciate the beauty of the works on this disc. Six out of nine compositions collected here are attributed to Perotin (Perotinus), the others are anonymous. All of them are amazing. Sung a capella, these works almost feel like they are set to music, because the lower voices are constantly providing a sort of vocal "continuo" for the upper voices, while the upper voices are engaging in complex melodic modulations. Both upper and lower lines intersect from time to time in the arresting antiphona-like passages during which the lower pitches change gear giving rise to new upper-line stanzas. Even the antiphonas themselves are singularly beautiful because they are delivered in a wave-like manner, like an echo catching up with someone leaving a deep cavern. The overall effect is truly haunting. Don't miss this recording! Another Hilliard recording of the "desert-island" caliber, that I would like to recommend to you, is Dunstable Motets, recently reissued on Virgin Veritas. You won't believe the singing of David James! Incidentally, John Potter once said that the greatest strength of the Hilliard is in its unique vocal blend. He meant that each individual Hilliard performer may be not all that remarkable when singing alone; but that together, subordinating their individualities to the higher common good, they constitute a true musical phenomenon. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great masters in all of Western music
One of the great masters in all of Western music, to hear his polyphony (anytime and every time) is to stoke a belief in angels. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Towelclerk
5.0 out of 5 stars other-worldly
With twenty-five 5-star reviews and three 4-star, this disc doesn't need any additional endorsement it seems. Yet I'll add mine and try to make it short. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Discophage
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing Early Music
Even though I enjoy Early Music, I am sadly late in discovering this album by the seven-member Hilliard Ensemble, performing works by Perotin and other 12th-century compositions. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Dr. Debra Jan Bibel
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning! Addictive!
I am addicted to this recording and that's not a bad thing! I can listen daily and never tire of it.
Published 15 months ago by anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars Perotin
This was a recording of unusual medieval religious music from around the 13th Century. The sound is very haunting to me and has fascinated me since I first heard it. Read more
Published on July 8, 2012 by Walter A. Dryja
5.0 out of 5 stars Otherworldly and Stunningly Beautiful
I heard a piece on Perotin on NPR, and was stunned by the beauty of this recording. I now own it, and it has been in heavy rotation within the context of my daily life. Read more
Published on December 6, 2011 by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars Empyreal, Polyphonic and Rhythmic
I'll try not to repeat any information in the other reviews. I'll hold off adding to the plethora of laudatory adjectives already given (and well deserved) and say... Read more
Published on April 4, 2011 by Sir Pentor
5.0 out of 5 stars Music of remarkably innovative form--and 800 years old
This disc came as quite a surprise. I'm not usually interested in early music, but a release from ECM New Series and with the Hilliard Ensemble seemed like a safe bet. Read more
Published on October 29, 2009 by Christopher Culver
5.0 out of 5 stars It Sounds Like Steve Reich But Eight Centuries Too Eerly
I recently picked up the Hilliard Ensemble's performance of the late twelfth-century choral music of Perotin, the first composer to be known by name in the West, and a CD of... Read more
Published on February 26, 2009 by David Keymer
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Middle Ages
Actually I came to the first
piece in this recording by chance.
I first heard the organum "Viderunt Omnes"
on an "re-working" for string quartet performed
by... Read more
Published on December 30, 2008 by paulusrex
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