Le Poème Harmonique is a French Baroque ensemble that focuses on music of the 17th and 18th centuries.
The group has been a pioneer in exploring Baroque music in the context of the other arts, and has appeared in and recorded major lost works of Baroque opera and ballet. Le Poème Harmonique was founded in 1998 by lutenist Vincent Dumestre, who remains its director. The group has performed in concert throughout France and in major international capitals, with repeat performances in Rome, New York, Tokyo, London, Vienna, and Madrid. In France itself a high proportion of the group's performances takes place in the Normandy region.
Le Poème Harmonique has been noted for performances that promote a synthesis of two or more arts. They have been joined by actors, puppeteers, dancers, and even circus performers in their quest to uncover the spectacle-oriented nature of Baroque-era entertainment. The group has participated in performances of difficult-to-realize works such as Lully's opera Cadmus et Hermione and Cavalli's Egisto. They have explored similarities between Baroque-era design -- including gestures, painted canvases, machinery, and lighting with candles -- and that of contemporary productions. Their performances of Molière's stage comedy Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme with music by Lully has been a major success, with repeat performances in cities across France.
Le Poème Harmonique has enjoyed an unusually successful recording career, with sales of some 150,000 albums and DVDs. The group has recorded exclusively for the Alpha label, which shares its aims of illuminating correspondences between the arts. An example of their early treatment of novel repertory was their 2000 recording of comic, semi-popular works by Etienne Moulinié. They joined with Ensemble Aedes for a 2018 recording of Majesté, a collection of large sacred works composed for King Louis XV. Recordings by Le Poème Harmonique have been given the Grand Prix de l'Académie Charles Cros and the Diapason d'Or, among other awards.