Pérotin: “Beata Viscera”

Just stumbled across this today, thanks to YOUTUBE.  Beautiful.  Ethereal. Quite a nice way to finish up a Sunday evening.

Anyone out there familiar with Pérotin?  Wikipedia says he was studied and taught in Paris, being associated with the Notre Dame school of polyphony in the late 12th and early 13th century.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pérotin

About kurtnemes
Writer and Education Professional. Specialties include Ethics, Personal Memoir, Classical music, Tai Chi, Stress Reduction, Meditation, Coping, Classical Music, Aging, Love, Joy, Compassion and Equanimity (& what interests me.)

12 Responses to Pérotin: “Beata Viscera”

  1. kvennarad says:

    That was lovely.


  2. G.H.Bone says:

    I know a little about Perotin. Many years ago a friend introduced me to his music saying that the two pieces known for certain to be by Perotin, Sederunt Principes and Viderunt Omnes, represent an extraordinary advance in music. At the time, he put it to me in these terms: people had been building mud huts and then along came Perotin and gave the world a cathedral. Of course, it’s likely that there had been precedents for the kind of the complex music that Perotin was writing, but they are not extant. But leaving aside the discussion of Perotin as a great progressive figure in Western music, what he left us is thrilling and musing. I quote my friend (the Perotin expert) here:

    THE GREAT TRADITION OF EUROPEAN COMPOSED MUSIC STARTS WITH … LITTLE PETE! The earliest surviving examples of notated music in Europe consist of single-line melodies (eg: liturgical chants, troubadour songs). But by the late 12th century certain (mainly anonymous) composers began to invent polyphonic pieces, ie: music for two or three voices in counterpoint. In the last two years of that century, one of a group of composers associated with Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris concocted two FOUR-part pieces, and they represent one of the most extraordinary advances in expressive potential in the history of music. His name was recorded as “Perotinus” (“Little Pete”!) in Latin, though these days he is known by the Frenchified version PEROTIN. The earlier of the two four-part compositions, “Viderunt Omnes”, is pretty fantastic; but the second, SEDERUNT PRINCIPES, is even more mind-boggling. Here we have music that gazes up to the heavens, but is rooted in rhythms that, however complex, are visceral and infectious; the harmonies are often dissonant in ways that are deliciously “spicy”; and at 3:45 there is a beautiful, revelatory key change that should make you feel at least a little inclined to fall to your knees in awe – if not, you just ain’t got no soul, man! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhqWgfGK1Xw&feature=youtu.be

    Liked by 1 person

    • kurtnemes says:

      Land sakes alive! What amazing music. I listened to both Sederunt Principes and Viderunt Omnes. I like the one voice that kind of drones. Is that the organum or the cantus firmus? Your friend’s description (cathedral where there were once huts) is dead on. I can just imagine what this sounded like hearing it sung in Notre Dame. Thank you for these gifts.


  3. G.H.Bone says:

    I didn’t know Pycard. Thanks for raising it. I like the Gloria very much. It has a quirkiness that appeals.


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