O presul vere civitatis celebrates Saint Disibod, the patron of the monastery where Hildegard was raised. She composed this sequence in response to Abbot Cuno of Disibodenberg who wrote to her asking for a copy of anything ‘that God reveals to you about our patron’. She certainly sent him this poem; we do not know whether it was accompanied by the music. Hildegard evokes the itinerant hermit’s life that brought Disibod to the place later to be the site of the monastery, and emphasizes his founder’s role through a stream of architectural, cloistral imagery. The ‘finial-stone’ which introduces this imagery is, of course, Christ (see, for example, Matthew 21: 42).
from notes by Christopher Page © 1982