CULTURE

Two centuries of French music courtesy of Poeme Harmonique

It’s nothing new: Music and songwriting are often used as tools for tracing the history of nations and their culture. Founded by Vincent Dumestre in 1997, the French ensemble Poeme Harmonique has established a solid reputation in recording two centuries of French music. Accompanied by a multitude of period instruments, such as the viola da gamba and theorbe, among others, the ensemble comes to Athens at the end of the week for two performances. The ensemble’s Athenian performances are co-sponsored by the French Institute in Athens and the Museum of Greek Folk Music Instruments. A maverick of French period music, Dumestre has unearthed musical gems from the Baroque period, rediscovering rich musical material. Some of this material has been collected on a recording, the Aux Marches du Palais, produced by the Alpha 500 label. Meanwhile, Poeme Harmonique has met with highly critical acclaim, awards and nominations as well as being recognized by its peers for its continuous efforts in safeguarding cultural heritage. The players In Athens, Poeme Harmonique – composed of Claire Lefilliatre (vocals), Bruno Bonhoure (vocals), Marco Horvat (vocals), Emmanuelle Guigues (viola da gamba), Christophe Tellart (pipe and flute), Joel Grare (percussion) and Dumestre (theorbe) – will present a program comprising 12 love songs. Poeme Harmonique will perform at the Museum of Popular Instruments on Sunday at noon and on Tuesday, May 20 at 8 p.m. Entrance is free of charge. The Sunday performance is part of International Museum Day. Museum of Greek Folk Music Instruments, 1-3 Diogenous Street, Plaka, tel 210.325.0198. For more information, call the French Institute, tel 210.339.8600.