A Touch Of Baroque With Le Poème Harmonique

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Derived from the Portuguese word barroco, or oddly shaped pearl, the term baroque is used to demarcate the period from 1600 to 1750 in Western European art and music. Though initially used derogatively by critics to describe excessive ornamentation and exaggeration in different art forms, baroque is widely hailed today as one of the richest and most diverse periods in music history.

Bonjour India 2017-18 decided to pay homage to this evocative era of European music by bringing Le Poème Harmonique – a leading French baroque ensemble – to India. The ensemble captivated hearts in the subcontinent by bringing a unique show entitled Venezia to Mumbai (Jan 19), Chennai (Jan 21), and Jaipur (Jan 23). This tour, piloted by Institut Français en Inde, paid tribute to the golden age of baroque music by infusing authentic compositions from the era with the playful creativity of Le Poème Harmonique.

Le Poème Harmonique on stage

Le Poème Harmonique on stage

Under the deft guidance of the artistic director Vincent Dumestre, Venezia recreated highly entertaining performances of 17th and 18th centuries – an age when Art mingled with popular forms and music transcended borders across Europe. The show brought together Monteverdi’s madrigals – including the famous Lamento della Ninfa – with compositions by well-known Venetian composer Francesco Manelli.

The performances revived old works by forgotten composers – mixing compositions that are light and engaging with tunes that deal with love’s sorrows. The line-up also included a sprinkling of works that talk of the simple pleasures of food and wine. Through this event, Bonjour India 2017-18 wished to launch collaborations in baroque and opera music between India and France whilst simultaneously encouraging professional training in the classical music forms – a noble goal which was amply rewarded by the admiration of the audience!

A glimpse into the different compositions performed by Le Poème Harmonique as part of Venezia can be found here:

Siddharth Bhatt

Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...