International Press

“The results are highly impressive in this delectable programme of French Christmas music… An utter pleasure”
Four stars
CD Noël français BBC Music Magazine (UK), December 2015


“This choir school, created in 2006, gives an irresistible Gallic Christmas programme.... With beautifully blended and precisely pitched singing, the group excels in Poulenc’s Four Christmas Motets…”
‘The week’s essential new releases’
CD Noël français Sunday Times (UK), 13 December 2015

“The revelation of the maîtrise world these last years.”
Five diapasons
CD Noël français Diapason Magazine (France), December 2015


“.. the stunning Maîtrise de Toulouse…”
Diapason Découverte
CD Polyphonies oubliées Diapason magazine (France), May 2015


“A wide-ranging programme, sung with gleaming freshness of tone and intonation.”
Four stars
CD Motets français BBC Music Magazine (UK), September 2014


“…the disc feels as if it has been crafted with infinite care and love, and for that reason alone it is a joy to listen to ”

CD Motets français Gramophone Magazine (UK), September 2014


“ From the outset we realise that we are in the hands of fearless and confident young musicians who live and love every note. Totally unfazed by difficult complex writing … they give it their all. It’s a delight, and a very pleasant surprise, to hear them with their stylish approach… 

… let us not forget Mark Opstad, without whose vision and expertise none of this would be possible. Congratulations to all concerned. I cannot recommend this thrilling CD strongly enough ! ”

CD Motets français Organist’s Review (UK), September 2014


“As French choral musicians, the youngsters are heirs to a proud tradition, which they recount with propriety, understanding and flare.

 …the music is delivered with clarity, verve and exemplary control”

CD Motets français  American Record Guide (USA), July 2014


“Every track is a delight”

CD Motets français Choir and Organ (UK), July 2014


“To judge from the rock-solid intonation, crispness of articulation, scrupulous attention de balance, confident solo work, and much else besides, Mark Opstad knows a thing or two about choral conducting…

 All in all, then, this is a highly successful follow-up to the previous release, and it is crowned by a brilliant performance of Poulenc’s Litany to the Black Virgin of Rocamadour… I am tempted to say the disc is worth airing for this track alone, but actually it is worth acquiring for everything it contains.”

CD Motets français International Record Review (UK), May 2014


“Singing throughout the CD is crisp, clean and is perfectly balanced with the accompanying instruments….

 “I thoroughly enjoyed the musical journey presented on the CD.”

CD Motets français  Sydney Organ journal (Australia), Spring 2014


“… a French “Maîtrise” (choir school) ensemble that’s as good as just about any of the finest English cathedral choirs… singing a choice assortment of English and French Missa Brevis settings to absolute, ravishing treble perfection.

… 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.”

CD Missa Brevis American Record Guide (USA), July / August 2012 

Critic’s Choice amongst all the CDs reviewed in 2012 (January 2013)


“Can a French Conservatoire Maîtrise compete with the English collegiate and cathedral choirs in the music of Fauré and Britten ? The proof that yes, with this first disc of the Maîtrise created in 2006 at the Toulouse Conservatoire by Englishman Mark Opstad…

…This conductor and this choir should be followed, as they show that the renaissance of French maîtrises initiated a quarter of a century ago in France has not had its last word. (five diapasons)

CD Missa Brevis Diapason Magazine (France), September 2012


“…This is an enjoyable recording and an excellent display of works for upper voices…” (five stars)

CD Missa Brevis The Organ Magazine, (UK) Summer 2011


“…these choristers make light work of this fascinating programme…

…Caplet’s three-voiced Mass for unaccompanied voices is impressive, both as a composition and for the performance Opstad elicits from his youthful performers.” (four stars)

CD Missa Brevis Choir and Organ magazine (UK), March 2011


“The mixed-gender group of 21 singers recorded here is blessed with a fresh, clear, unaffected tone, blending effortlessly, especially in Caplet’s unaccompanied three voice Mass, with its soaring, arched phrases, which float beautifully in the spacious acoustics of Toulouse’s neo-GothicTemple du Salin…

…As part of a recent resurgence of interest in youth choral singing across France, this timely disc serves as an important and worthwhile stepping stone.”

CD Missa Brevis  Gramophone Magazine (UK), March 2011


“The singing is assured, clear and well blended. Indeed, the choir might be mistaken for an English cathedral choir…

It is a joy to hear a French children’s choir of this quality.” (Recommended recording)

CD Missa Brevis Church Music Quarterly, Royal School of Church Music (UK), March 2011


"Following their visit to Tauste, where they gave the closing concert of the music festival of the Cincos Villas, the Maîtrise de Toulouse appeared at the church of San Felipe (Saragosse). The twenty-one choristers, aged between eleven and fifteen, make up a choir of which the technical quality and expressiveness is extraordinary...

The repertoire was sung to perfection. The young singers were attentive to the demands of their director who can be proud of the ensemble which he has created."

Concert review Heraldo de Aràgon (Spain), october 2010

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