Philippe Hersant,

Philippe Hersant, "Viderunt omnes"

Early in his career, Philippe Hersant found himself at a crossroads: should he write fundamentally personal music or seek to make it more “modern”? If the choice, difficult as it may have been, seems to be obvious in hindsight, it is undoubtedly because of the exclusive link between Philippe Hersant’s writing and the human voice: all the counterpoint sings in his scores, or as Perotin might have said “viderunt omnes fine musicae”.

(Commissioned by Radio France)

 " Written to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Chœur de Radio France – who commissioned it – this piece requires the large vocal force of a double choir. The text is taken from Psalm 97 and the piece makes reference to Viderunt omnes by Pérotin, one of the first conductors in the history of polyphonic music.

It’s not a liturgical piece, but it has an obvious religious character through the borrowing of Gregorian monody. The use of the double choir implies effects of spatialisation and dialogue. As with Pérotin, some voices sing long values while the others put faster and more rhythmic figures forward, with the two choirs regularly exchanging roles. Throughout this piece I generally tried to find the ringing happiness that I believe characterises Pérotin’s work.

Viderunt omnes is dedicated to Sofi Jeannin and the Chœur de Radio France."

Philippe Hersant

Concert date 

7 April 2018, Choeur de Radio France, Maison de la Radio, Paris 

Website of the composer ➡️

Watch the World premiere presented by Radio France:

Philippe Hersant, "Viderunt omnes"