Thy Kiss of a Divine Nature - The Contemporary Perotin
The Hilliard Ensemble : discography

Arthaus Musik 100 695

Playing time: 73'21


Thy Kiss of a Divine Nature - The Contemporary Perotin

Perotinus Magnus DVD anniversary edition

The Hilliard Ensemble


 1.  Beata es virgo 
Offertorium/Graduals (11th century)

Descendit de celis
3-part Organum - Anonymous/Notre-Dame de Paris, after 1200 (according to the Florentine writings, 14r)
 2.  Descendit de celis [2:25] 
 3.  missus ab arce... [1:21] 
 4.  Tamquam sponsus... [4:30] 
 5.  Et exivit... [0:32] 
 6.  Fac deus munda... [0:28] 
 7.  Gloria patris... [2:01] 
 8.  Et exivit... [0:34] 
 9.  Familiam custodi... [0:28] 
 10.  Descendit de celis [0:58] 
 11.  missus ab arce... [1:22] 
 12.  Facinora nostra... [1:00] 

 13.  Dixit Angelus 
1-part responsorium (11th century)

Gaude Maria
2-part Responsorium - Anonymous/Notre-Dame de Paris, around 1190 (according to the writings of Wolfenbüttel II, 48v)
 14.  Gaude Maria [0:44] 
 15.  virgo cunctas... [1:19] 
 16.  Gabrielem archangelum [3:44] 
 17.  Dum virgo... [0:40] 
 18.  Gloria patri... [1:24] 
 19.  Gaude Maria... [1:24] 

 20.  Laude jocunda 
2-part prose - Anonymous/St. Martial de Limoges around 1150

Descendit de celis & Tamquam sponsus
2-part organum - Leonin/Notre-Dame de Paris, around 1180 (according to the writings of Wolfenbüttel I, around 1240)
 21.  Descendit de celis [1:26] 
 22.  Tamquam sponsus... [3:18] 

Alleluia Nativitas
3-part Organum - Perotin/Paris, after 1204 (from the writings of Wolfenbüttel II, around 1260)
 23.  Alleluia [1:30] 
 24.  Alleluia [0:27] 
 25.  Nativitas gloriose... [4:09] 
 26.  Clara ex stirpe... [0:59] 

Beata Viscera
1-part Conductus - Anonymous (Perotin?)/Paris, after 1200 (according to the Florentine writings, around 1250)
 27.  Beata viscera... [1:47] 
 28.  Populus gentium... [1:50] 
 29.  Fermenti pessimi... [1:51] 
 30.  Legis mosaicae... [1:51] 
 31.  Solem quern libere... [2:08] 

Viderunt omnes
4-part Organum (Graduals of the 3rd Christmas Mass) - Perotin/Paris, soon after 1200 (Magnus Liber, Florentine writings)
 32.  Viderunt omnes [3:30] 
 33.  fines terrae... [0:51] 
 34.  Notum fecit Dominus... [5:40] 
 35.  justitiam suam [0:26] 

 36.  Dum sigillum 
2-part Conductus - Perotin/Paris, after 1200 (Unicum from the Florentine writings)

 37.  Benedicamus domino 
2-part organum - Anonymous/Notre-Dame de Paris, after 1200 (according to the writings of Wolfenbüttel II, around 1260)


David James, countertenor
Rogers Covey-Crump, tenor
Steven Harrold, tenor
Gordon Jones, baritone


800 years after the first performance of the first four-voiced vocal composition in European music history, inpetto filmproduktion, in collaboration with ARTHAUS - DVD-Vertrieb and digital images, celebrates the composer Perotinus Magnus.

The result is a DVD edition, which will set standards for some time to come, and will serve as work of reference not just for Perotinus Magnus, the father of European polyphonic composition, but also for a contemporary approach to medieval thought in general and its significance to this day.

The edition contains three films in one; three films with three different foci, three films that are like a triptych, where theme and aesthetics combine to form a higher unity.

The trilogy opens up with the film "Dein Kuss von göttlicher Natur - Der ZEITgenosse Perotin" (Thy kiss of a divine nature - the conTEMPOrary Perotin), a 95-minute long staged documentary, featuring the world-famous Hilliard Ensemble interpreting the music of Perotinus Magnus and his time. The Hilliard Ensemble was filmed in Lübeck's St. Petri church, a hall basilica of cathedral-like dimensions with five naves, whose pillars and vaults were illuminated with video light using five high-performance video projectors on an area of 2,500 m2. The lyrics of the Latin texts of Perotin's works were interpreted to make them accessible to a contemporary audience, in a sensuous and expressive way. A choreography by Hans Kresnik forms the highlight of this video light production, which undertook to present the myth of the virgin birth as choreographic theatre.

The film "Die Vision eines Filmprojektes" (The vision of a film project) forms the second part of this trilogy. Two years before the start of shooting, author and director Uli Aumüller explained the idea behind his unusual film in the form of a virtual interview - with reversed roles: the voice of the director asks the questions, the voice of congenial speaker Ulrich answers. A year and a half after the end of shooting, this "audio play", originally produced to find sponsors, was made visual using the project's film materials. It is an (at least) two-voiced fugue between sound and image, between verbal imagination and pictorial design, whose oscillation has yet to find its match in German film production. (Cutting time was 45 days - you can see it, you can hear it!)

The third part of the triptych is a passionate dispute between four renowned music and cultural experts, Dr. Martin Burckhardt, historian of culture, Prof. Rudolf Flotzinger, historian of music, Prof. Christian Kaden, sociologist of music and Prof. Jürg Stenzl, historian of music, who, in March 2004, as part of a symposium held in the choir stalls of Schleswig cathedral, have a hot debate about Perotinus Magnus: did he exist, what was his undisputed and revolutionary impact, and how should we think of his music, which receives an entirely new interpretation every 10 years. The four scholars present their opposing theories, they search for a balance, which in turn poses new questions. These questions necessarily remain open even after an hour of intense discussion, because there are no easy answers, despite the passionate engagement on the topic.

75 minutes of musical recordings, sung by the Hilliard Ensemble, complete the Perotin edition. The film project includes works by Perotinus Magnus and from his time, produced to the highest technical and acoustic standard, either as 5.1 dolby surround mix, or on an extra audio CD in 2.0 stereo version. The 5.1 version includes an image gallery and a selection from the 1,500 photographs which the director took of Europe's most beautiful cathedrals and monasteries during his extensive research trips.

The substantial booklet (more of a book than a booklet) accompanying the CD includes a long essay in German, French and English about Perotin and his time, about the film and the way it was made. The Latin texts of the musical recordings are also included, together with their German and English translations.

Overview of the Perotin edition:

DVD 1:

1. Film no. 1:

"Dein Kuss von göttlicher Natur - DerZEITgenosse Perotin" (Thy kiss of a divine nature)
Staged documentary, 95 min.
German original, English, French, Spanish and Japanese subtitles Sound: DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 or 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo

DVD 2:

1. 75 minutes of musical recordings with works by Perotinus Magnus and from his time, interpreted by the Hilliard Ensemble, 5.1 Dolby Surround mix including a picture gallery of the most beautiful cathedrals and monasteries in Europe.

2. Film no. 2:

"Perotinus Magnus - Die Vision eines Filmprojektes" (Perotinus Magnus - the vision of a film project)
65 min. stereo
The visualisation of an audio play about a fictional film project.
German original / English subtitles

3. Film no. 3:

"Wer war Perotinus Magnus - Mythos oder Geschichte" (Who was Perotinus - myth or history)
65 min. stereo
German original / English subtitles

4. Extra:

"Making of" - 6 min. stereo
Behind the scenes during shooting

Audio CD:

1. 75 minutes of musical recordings with works of Perotinus Magnus and from his time, interpreted by the Hilliard Ensemble 2.0 stereo


1. Introductory essay in German, French and English
2. Latin lyrics of all musical recordings with German and English translations.

The Perotin edition is packaged in a beautifully designed four-panel digipack.