The glory of the music of Versailles owes much to two masterpieces: the Te Deum set to music successively by Lully (1677) then by Charpentier (1692).
Music of celebration, used in exceptional situations, the Te Deum celebrates with Versailles pomp, a military victory, Peace, an occasion of general rejoicing and giving thanks to God. The piece however obviously Praises the "World's Greatest King", Louis XIV victorious and the earthly incarnation of omnipotence. To this magnificent and highly contrasting text, the great French motet with great choir and symphony uses its full resounding power ("drums and trumpets" give rhythm to the piece) and all its eloquence. The Latin text is taken literally and is rhetorically illustrated by the soloists and the choir, the images follow one another with force, until the final triumph of God and the King, and therefore of France. Lully created this monumental genre, and lost his life conducting a Te Deum with 150 performers in 1687 (the fatal gangrene caused by striking his toe with a long staff). As for Charpentier, his work became the theme music for the Eurovison song contest: posthumous, yet significant glory! Vincent Dumestre brings both masterly compositions to their perfection, recording them live at the Royal Chapel of the Palace of Versailles, their original setting.
Le Poème Harmonique is supported by the Ministry of Culture (DRAC Haute-Normandie), the Region of Haute-Normandie and the Municipality of Rouen.
Mécénat Musical Société Générale is the principal sponsor of Le Poème Harmonique.
Le Poème Harmonique is in residence in the Opera House of Rouen Haute-Normandie.
For its rehearsals, Le Poème Harmonique is in residence at the Fondation Singer-Polignac