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Meeting with...

Vincent Dumestre and Le Poème Harmonique

Le Poème Harmonique @ Ferrante Ferranti

Bringing the Louvre to Bourgie Hall

On Saturday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m., Vincent Dumestre and his ensemble Le Poème Harmonique take up residence at Bourgie Hall, as part of an extensive North American tour. The chamber group made up of seven musicians is set to offer listeners an evening like no other.

Le Poème Harmonique: bringing the atmosphere of the Louvre to Montreal

Returning to Montreal after a six-year hiatus, the French ensemble aims to introduce audiences to the music heard at the Louvre during the reign of Louis XIV. While we are familiar with the artists working at Versailles at that time, the same cannot be said about the music heard at the Louvre, which was the first residence of the famous Sun King. This venue, before becoming one of the world's most prestigious museums, was initially a palace where the sovereign's early artistic interests blossomed.

Sharing stories

Le Poème Harmonique, founded by Dumestre 25 years ago, designs its programs around specific themes: each one tells a story whose tenderness and gentleness, tension and strength lead the listener away from the present moment. And thus, our journey to the Louvre begins!


Meeting the young king Louis XIV

That the king had a keen interest in dance, fine arts and music is well documented. However, most of what we know about his artistic tastes stems from his time at Versailles. Vincent Dumestre seeks to highlight another facet of the music heard at the court of the King of France during the 17th century, music that is often lesser known and heard in a more intimate setting. This concert therefore recreates a certain atmosphere and retraces the evolution of the sovereign's tastes, prior to the construction of his monumental palace in Versailles.

Ballet, French Songs and Theatre at the Louvre

The evening is divided into two parts. The first features excerpts from royal ballets (a reminder that Lully composed his first royal ballets at the Louvre), instrumental music, French songs of a more popular nature that were hummed in the castle’s hallways, as well as compositions accompanying theatrical plays, since writing musical works for the theatre remained of vital importance to composers at the time.


The Influence of Mazarin

The second part showcases Italian arias: Cardinal Jules Mazarin, chief minister under Louis XIV and Italian by birth, like Lully, was keen on introducing the French to Italian opera, and brought to the Louvre some of the most prominent composers, among them Uccellini, Cavalli and Buonamente.


Conversation with Vincent Dumestre hosted by Sylvia L'Écuyer

To discuss the ensemble's upcoming concerts in Canada, host and musicologist Sylvia L'Écuyer spoke with Vincent Dumestre, director of Le Poème Harmonique.

Episode #15 Intimate Conversations with Vincent Dumestre hosted by Sylvia L’Ecuyer - French Version


  • Date: Saturday, October 28
  • Time: 7:30 p.m.
  • Location: Bourgie Hall of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), 1339 Sherbrooke Street West
  • Tickets: Click here

Bourgie Hall

Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
1339 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1G2

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