Wikipedia

The Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse is a French orchestra based in Toulouse. It acts as both a symphony orchestra whose main residence is Toulouse's Halle aux Grains, and the permanent orchestra of the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse.

Initially named Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, (without the 'National' title) the orchestra began as the opera orchestra of Théâtre du Capitole. Notable past music directors of the orchestra have included André Cluytens (beginning in 1932) and Georges Prêtre (1951–1955), but the Orchestre du Capitole rose to international prominence during Michel Plasson's tenure as music director, from 1968 to 2003.

Until Plasson's era, the orchestra was a purely operatic orchestra, rarely playing symphonies and almost never touring. Within twelve years, Plasson's insistence of higher artistic standards and goals had improved the orchestra's reputation dramatically. He began a period of critically acclaimed recordings and tours, and in 1980 the orchestra was bestowed the title of a French 'National' orchestra. Since 1974, the Halle aux Grains become the orchestra's main concert hall. It was originally a market and was later converted to a boxing arena, before becoming the orchestra's principle symphonic residence.

Plasson's flamboyant personality, his insistence on playing and recording the French repertoire (especially rarely played pieces), and his record deal with EMI, combined to make the orchestra the "reference" French orchestra, the most visible and most visibly French, with approximately one hundred records released. He also created a fundraising group called 'Aida', which has many large business donors, most notably Airbus, as well as banks. 'Aida' pays for the orchestra's very busy international touring calendar, and recordings. It was early in Plasson's tenure that the orchestra began to tour internationally, and it continues to tour heavily today.

Natalie Dessay began her career as a singer in the Choeur du Capitole and also made her solo debut with the orchestra. In 2014 she sang with the orchestra in the title role of Manon, which was her last official opera performance.

On May 9, 2003, Plasson announced his decision not to renew his contract after August 31, 2003. He complained that planned works in the Halle aux Grains would impair the 2003-2004 concert season. Unofficially, his departure was caused by the city's refusal to increase the orchestra's payroll. In 2004, Plasson was made "honorary conductor" of the orchestra, although he has rarely conducted the orchestra since.

In 2005, the city named Tugan Sokhiev principal guest conductor and musical adviser of the orchestra. Sokhiev became the orchestra's music director and principal conductor in September 2008. Artistically, Sokhiev moved the orchestra away from the French sound and traditions cultivated by Plasson, and has taken the orchestra in a more rhythmically impactful and sonically contrasting direction.

In 2011 the French national paper 'Le Figaro' reviewed the top 25 orchestras in France. The Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse was listed among the three best orchestras in France, one of the so-called 'Trio de l'excellence'. Also included in this top tier group were the Orchestre de Paris, and the orchestra of the Opera National de Paris.

In 2015 Sokhiev signed a new contract which will see him stay as artistic director and principal conductor until 2019.

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Discography

Album

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1980 Mireille Charles‐François Gounod; Mirella Freni, Alain Vanzo, José van Dam, Jane Rhodes, Gabriel Bacquier, Chœur du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 5 4
1982 L'œuvre d'orchestre, Vol. II: Ballade / Fantaise / Élégie / Berceuse / Les Djinns / Caligula / Prélude de Pénélope Gabriel Fauré; Jean‐Philippe Collard, Paul Tortelier, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Ensemble Vocal Alix Bourbon, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1
1983 Symphonie Nº 4, op. 21 / Chant funèbre, op. 9 Albéric Magnard; Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1
1985 La Belle Hélène Jacques Offenbach; Chœur et Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson, Jessye Norman 1
1987 Joyeuse marche / España / Suite pastorale / Danse slave / Fête polonaise / Prélude pastoral / Bourée fantasque / Menuet pompeux Emmanuel Chabrier; Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1
1987 Orphée aux enfers (1979 studio cast) Jacques Offenbach; Mady Mesplé, Jane Rhodes, Michel Sénéchal, Charles Burles, Orchestre et Chœur du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 2
1987 Symphony Ernest Chausson; Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1
1988 Symphonie no. 2 Albéric Magnard; Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1
1992 Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2 / Suite provençale Milhaud; Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1
1992 Tangos Carlos Gardel; L'Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1
1995 Carmina Burana Carl Orff; Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 4 2
1995 Requiem / Cantique de Jean Racine Fauré; Barbara Hendricks, José van Dam, Orfeón Donostiarra, Orchestre de Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 2
1996 L'Apprenti sorcier: Poèmes symphoniques français Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse 2
1996 Ravel: Concerto en sol / Concerto pour la main gauche / Debussy: Fantaisie Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy; François‐René Duchâble, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1
1997 Saint-Saëns: Symphonie No. 3 "Organ / Cyprès et Lauriers Camille Saint‐Saëns, Matthias Eisenberg, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse & Michel Plasson 1
1998 Lakmé Léo Delibes; Natalie Dessay, Michel Plasson, Gregory Kunde, José van Dam, Chœur du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse 1
2001 Cantates de Rome Ravel; Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1
2001 Debussy Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse 1
2003 Carmen Bizet; Gheorghiu, Alagna, Mula, Hampson, La Lauzeta, Chœur "Les Éléments", Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Plasson 2
2006 Orchestral Works Erik Satie; Michel Plasson, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse 1
2006 L'Arlésienne: Incidental Music Georges Bizet; Michel Plasson, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse 1
2006 Moussorgski: Tableaux d'une exposition / Tchaïkovsky: Symphonie n° 4 Moussorgski, Tchaïkovsky; Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Tugan Sokhiev 1
2011 Prokofiev : Concerto no. 2 / Rachmaninov: Danses Symphoniques Prokofiev, Rachmaninov; Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Tugan Sokhiev 1
2012 The Firebird / The Rite of Spring Stravinsky; Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Tugan Sokhiev 1
Boléro / La Valse / Pavane pour une infante défunte / Ma Mère l'oye / Valses nobles et sentimentales Ravel; Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1
Symphonie / Soir de Fête Chausson; Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1992 Faust - Highlights Charles‐François Gounod; Michel Plasson, Chœur du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse 1
1996 Sanctus: Sacred Songs City of Toulouse Choir & Orchestra, Michel Plasson, Roberto Alagna 1
2007 Pelléas et Mélisandre / Masques et Bergamasques / Incidental Music & Orchestral Music Gabriel Fauré; Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 2
2007 Symphony / Symphonic Variations César Franck; Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson 1
2010 Michel Plasson et la musique française Michel Plasson, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1993 Les Enfants du paradis et autres musiques de films de Marcel Carné Maurice Jaubert, Joseph Kosma, Malcolm Stewart & Michel Plasson conducting Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse 1

Other + Audiobook

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2007 Pierre et le Loup Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse 1

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