Live from la Maison Française: Le Poème Harmonique

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Program: #11-22   Air Date: May 23, 2011

Esperar, Sentir, Morir--The superb ensemble Le Poème Harmonique presents a program of street dances and courtly songs in 17th century Spain & Italy.

Française at the Embassy of France, in cooperation with the French-American Cultural foundation. For information on the many activities and concerts at the Maison, you may explore the site:

Le Poème Harmonique, a group of soloists who came together in 1998 under the direction of Vincent Dumestre, centres its artistic activity on music of the seventeenth and the early eighteenth century.

The group’s vocal and instrumental interpretations are enriched by other disciplines, with actors and dancers joining its singers and musicians in programmes of chamber works – Le Ballet des Fées, Il Fasolo – and, since 2004, in large-scale stage productions, such as Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, a comédie-ballet by Molière and Lully (stage director Benjamin Lazar) and Baroque Carnival (directed by Cécile Roussat), an original show combining Italian music with the circus arts (artists trained at the Centre National des Arts du Cirque). For operatic performances as Cadmus et Hermione by Lully (stage director Benjamin Lazar), Le Poème Harmonique studies in depth the correspondences between ‘period’ aesthetics – use of candles for lighting, authentic gestures and, for Cadmus, painted canvases and machinery – and the aesthetics of modern stage productions. Interaction between artistic disciplines and real teamwork – working together as a company – are Le Poème Harmonique’s hallmark in Baroque performance today. The ensemble also gets back to the sources of early French and Italian music through exploration of its relationships with traditional or folk music. The recording Aux Marches du Palais, for example, is devoted to French songs of oral tradition.

For more information, you may explore:

  • Anonymous:  Ay luna que reluces (O shining moon, all night long you give me light") (from: Cancionero de Upsala)
  • Anonymous 17th century:  Para tener nochebuena
  • Bartolomé Carceres ? active middle 16th century: Falalalan (from: Cancionero de Upsala)
  • Cabézon (after Cipriano de Rore): Anchor che col partire ("Even though when I part from you, it is a kind of dying")
  • Anonymous: Canario instrumental
  • Diego Fernández de Huete 1633/43-1713:  Espagnoleta, Canario, Folía instrumental
  • Anonymous: Bailan los pastores
  • Juan del Encina: Ay triste que vengo ("Alas, sad you see me")
  • Anonymous: Con que la lavaré instrumental (from: Cancionero de Upsala)
  • Anonymous: No so yo (from: Cancionero de Upsala)
  • Juan del Encina: Fata la parte, villancico ("Tell it everywhere, M. Cotal's wife is dead")
  • Luis de Briçeño active beginning 17th century: La gran chacona
  • Anonymous: Chacona (intro and entre’acte)
  • Anthonie Boësset: Una musica
  • Sarabanda: ‘Nos esprits libres & contents’