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In this new release, Vincent Dumestre’s Le Poème Harmonique once again immerses us in the France of the second half of the 16th century, which witnessed the emergence of new centres of artistic activity. These ‘bourgeois’ societies were initiated by patron princes concerned with building their prestige through the arts and letters just as much as by arms. At the same time, refined circles held by cultivated women enabled them to rub shoulders with the leading poets of the time, as well as musicians sensitive to humanist research, all profiting from a context propitious to the invention of new artistic forms and practices. The new, more lyrical poetry, inspired by both antiquity and contemporary Italian models, was matched, in particular, by the courtly air, a new musical genre perfectly adapted to the humanist ideals of sobriety and intelligibility of the text.
Through this music, still insufficiently known, this programme invites us to discover a refined poetic and musical universe, witness to a French Renaissance at its apogee, with works by composers such as Pierre Cléreau, Guillaume Costeley, Adrian Le Roy, and Didier Le Blanc.
As usual, Vincent Dumestre, uncontested master of these repertoires, has surrounded himself with the finest singers and instrumentalists, a loyal troupe that exhumes unusual musical treasures, letting us share in them.