Michel Brun: “The Baroque Ensemble of Toulouse is reinventing itself”

the essential
With the verve and the communicative joy that make his mark, Michel Brun evokes the news of the coming months of the Baroque Ensemble of Toulouse, which he happily directs.

The Baroque Ensemble recorded an opera in 2016 but you are going to publish your first real record this year …

Yes the opportunity had been given to us at the time of the rediscovery in the archives of the Heritage Library of the baroque opera fallen into oblivion “Le Triomphe des arts” signed by the Toulouse composer Bernard-Aymable Dupuy who had the particularity to be one of the only two operas recorded elsewhere than in Paris or Versailles. The disc published for the occasion at the time contained the performance given to Odyssud while this disc “Shadow and Light”, dedicated to Vivaldi, results from a decision on our part to record. It’s very important for a musical ensemble in terms of reputation to have a record and, what is more, it allowed us to achieve a job to the maximum of our possibilities and skills.

You, who are known to be passionate about Bach, why did you record this disc dedicated to Vivaldi?

In fact I could not find the right choice to record a disc because Bach’s repertoire is over-recorded today and even his cantatas, very little presented in concert, are also the subject of six or seven integrals given by the greatest artists like Gardiner, Herreweghe or Harnoncourt. Then, the evidence appeared during a concert and we chose extracts from different works, operas, a flute concerto… which precisely illustrate the enormous range of musical expressions of which Vivaldi was capable. that is to say completely dark, gloomy works and then others completely luminous, joyful and radiant. And then, the shadow and the light symbolizes the fact that some of his works are very well known, for example his Stabat Mater and others which are almost completely unknown like his many operas.

The place of recording is of particular importance in your project …

Absolutely ! We fell in love with the Notre-Dame d’Alet chapel in Montaigut-sur-Save. It combined everything, both in terms of acoustics and noise-free, and in practice with its large park that we were able to enjoy between takes. And then, she is sublimely beautiful!

On the record we hear the voice of Caroline Champy Tursun …

Yes it is not a recent meeting since we have been singing with her for a long time and she is not for nothing in the decision to sing these works. She is someone who has the particularity of fully experiencing the characters she embodies when she sings, whether in opera or in religious music. It is this incarnation which largely gave me the desire to record this disc.

For the past few months, Toulouse-based director Jacques Mitsch has been shooting a documentary devoted to the Baroque Ensemble, where are you at with this important project?

The first turns of the crank started during the Passe ton Bach festival in September and Jacques Mitsch and his team will film us for about a year during our most original activities, namely the Cantatas sans filet, the festival. with its slightly crazy side, effervescent and also in our mediation activities with the prevented public. And what gives me great pleasure is that this documentary will be broadcast on France 3 national, a generalist channel, which will allow it to reach as many audiences as possible.

Baroque and inventive

Since 1998, the Baroque Ensemble of Toulouse, and its conductor Michel Brun, swear by the repertoire of early music! Monteverdi here, Haydn there and, above all, Bach, who has long established himself as the favorite playground of the group which has spurred the creation of two remarkable and remarkable cultural events in the city: Cantatas sans filet (since 2007) and Pass your Bach first! (since 2008). The recent period, which saw the departure of several musicians, “has made it possible to make new artistic encounters that are absolutely extraordinary according to Michel Brun, and three new musicians have recently joined the group. We were finally able, after several postponements due to the health situation, to offer the Passe ton Bach festival in the fall and to donate The Passion according to Saint John who allowed us to complete the triptych dedicated to Bach started by The Passion according to Saint Matthew and The Mass in Si. »

“Vivaldi between shadow and light” by the Baroque Ensemble of Toulouse under the direction of Michel Brun with mezzo-soprano Caroline Champy Tursun. Information on 05 61 52 73 13 and on www.baroquetoulouse.com
Cantatas without net: Sundays 23 January, 13 March and 15 May at 5 p.m. (public rehearsal with commentary) and at 6.30 p.m. (cantata) in Saint-Exupère church (allées Jules-Guesde). At the exit, a thematic buffet is offered to the public according to the number of the cantata. Free entry without reservation and subject to availability.