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    Mark Opstad, La Maîtrise de Toulouse, Conservatoire de Toulouse


    Catalogue Number: regcd513

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    Mark Opstad
    La Maîtrise de Toulouse
    Conservatoire de Toulouse

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    ‘I'd be happy to recommend this Just for the rarity of some of the repertoire, but this choir Is wonderful and deserves the accolades showered on it...they display a freshness and rhythmic alacrity that Is uncommon. They have been well coached In their diction as well. Opstad Is a gem among choral conductors and Inspires his young forces to give performances that many of their adult peers would do well to emulate. The sound Is clear and detailed and doesn’t sound overmlked. ’
    American Record Guide March 2018

    ‘These young voices bring a delightful freshness to this demanding repertoire. With its lean harmony, Stravinsky’s Mass for double choir and wind quintet is performed authentically as the composer indicated. Pendereckis highly complex and demanding Song of the Cherubim produces a memorable performance. There is much to savour here with delightful folksong arrangements, the first recording of Lukaszewskis Ubi caritas, and Kodaly s monumental final work Laudes Organi in praise of the organ. ’
    Choir and Organ March 2018

     Throughout this recording, and with the praise of his preceding recordings, it is clear that Opstad has created a vibrant musical ensemble and singing school with La Maitrise de Toulouse. Using the skills garnered from his own training as a chorister and organ scholar with England’s leading educational centers (including Bristol Cathedral, Oxford, and Cambridge), Opstad has fused the best qualities of the British and French choral traditions with this enterprise.’ American Choral Journal August 2019

    ‘It's glorious, with clear diction and superb accompaniment. The young voices are ideally present, with solo parts taken by choir members... All brilliantly performed, and well-engineered too. September 2018


    ‘Mark Opstad is to be most warmly congratulated on achieving such very high standards of performance with his young voices. Not once did they sound as if they were under any pressure - immaculate tuning and ensemble, all taken as a norm. A thoroughly engaging and uplifting recording in every way. If I could give this six stars, I would!’
    ***** Organists’ Review March 2018

    ‘It’s a pleasure to review another fine recording by La Maitrise de Toulouse, directed by its founder, Mark Opstad. All the music comes from Eastern Europe, with the youthful choir overcoming with great distinction such challenges as singing in Hungarian and Russian, not to mention a number of melodic complexities over a wide vocal range. ’
    Cathedral Music I 2018

    ‘A children’s choir to rival the finest in a splendid programme.’
    MusicWeb June 2018

    Having recorded four CDs dedicated to French music during the first ten years of the Maîtrise de Toulouse’s existence, this programme takes this world-class choir in a new direction.

    All the pieces presented here are by composers from Eastern Europe, most significantly the Russian, Igor Stravinsky and the Hungarian, Zoltán Kodály. Kodály’s Hungarian contemporaries, Lajos Bárdos and Béla Bartók are also featured and the programme is completed by two Polish composers, Krzysztof Penderecki and Paweł Łukaszewski, whose Ubi Caritas was commissioned by the Maîtrise for this recording.  The programme contains works for both full choir and upper voice choir, both sacred and secular, sung in Latin, Church Slavonic, Hungarian and Russian. 

    Slava!, the title of our programme not only represents the Slavic origins of many of the composers featured, but also the Russian word for ‘glory!’, used as a refrain in many of the Stravinsky songs. Slava was also the familiar name of the great cellist Rostropovich, for whom Penderecki wrote his work featured here.


    Messe pour chœur et double quintette à vent    17:12   
    Mass for choir and double wind quintet
    Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)       

    Iže Cheruvimy
    Krzysztof Penderecki (1933)    7:59
    Ubi Caritas
    (création / first recording) Paweł Łukaszewski (1968)        5:30   
    Patkóéknál Lajos Bárdos (1899–1986)        3:35   
    Esti Dal
    Zoltán Kodály (1882–1967)        3:22   
    Túrót ëszik a cigány
    Kodály        2:24

    Chants pour enfants / Children’s choruses   Béla Bartók (1881–1945)
    Levél az otthoniakhoz        2:10
    Játék        0:46
    Leanynezo        1:27
    Héjja, héjja, karahéjja        0:50

    Quatre chants de paysans russes
    Four Russian Peasant Songs       
    У спаса в Чигисах за Яузою. Славна! Славна!    0:40
    Овсен, Овсен, Овсен!        0:35
    Щука шла из Новогорода: Слава!        0:50
    Уж, как вышло пузище на репище        1:06

    Laudes Organi
    Kodály        18:36 

    Durée total / Total Playing time : 69:57    

    Enregistré au Temple du Salin, Toulouse, France, 5–7 Mai 2017

    Some of the critical praise for La Maîtrise de Toulouse on Regent


    ‘...beautifully blended and precisely pitched singing..’ Sunday Times

    ‘an utter pleasure’ BBC Music

    ‘Révélation du paysage maîtrisien de ces dernières années, la Maîtrise de Toulouse célèbre un « Noël français » avec chef et label anglais. Entente (très) cordiale ...’ Diapason

    ‘this is magnificent choral singing, and the stylistic range is refreshingly wide...’


    ‘rock-solid intonation, crispness of articulation, scrupulous attention to balance, confident solo work, and much else besides’.
    International Record Review

    ‘…their music is delivered with clarity, verve, and exemplary control’
    American Record Guide

    ‘There’s probably nothing this choir couldn’t sing, and spectacularly well. They deliver clean, crisp singing, with perfect intonation and balance. They achieve standards of phrasing, dynamics and interpretive intensity that many fine adult ensembles would kill for.’
    American Record Guide


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