So many angels came this day

ConcertClassic - Laurent Bury
The Angels

Métaboles concert at the Musée d'Orsay - So many angels came today - Review

To open its 2023-24 season, the Auditorium of the Musée d'Orsay is offering a midday concert linked to one of its exhibitions, as is customary. To celebrate Louis Janmot (1814-1892), the very mystical painter from Lyon to whom a retrospective is currently devoted, it was logical to propose a religious program, and as his canvases are literally teeming with angels, the ensemble Les Métaboles came interpret the content of his disc The Angels recorded in 2019 and released in 2021. But as the CD lasts barely three-quarters of an hour, a few pieces were added to reach the usual duration of concerts at the Musée d'Orsay.

In relation to the disc, three composers therefore make their entry: Britten, his compatriot John Tavener (1944-2013) and the Estonian Arvo Pärt, the only one still alive. However, the language of Shakespeare remains dominant, Pärt having set to music the modern English translation of an old Gaelic prayer. This reinforcement of works from the 20th and 21st centuries has the effect of isolating a little more the works of Byrd, Purcell and especially Palestrina, the latter's Stabat Mater belonging decidedly to a completely different aesthetic universe, while the two British artists of the 17th century are easier to relate to Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012) who dominates the program. The exhibition notably brings William Blake closer to Janmot, both having been painters and poets, the presence of Blake's poem "The Lamb" set to music by Tavener is thus justified. A Hymn to the Virgin by a sixteen-year-old Britten hardly allows us to detect the strong musical personality that would assert itself a few years later.

In other words, even if it is The Deer’s Cry by Arvo Pärt that Les Métaboles will cover as an encore at the end of the concert, Jonathan Harvey remains the undisputed king of this program. His works prove to anyone who doubts that it is still possible in our time to compose music of religious inspiration which is absolutely not outdated. “Come Holy Ghost” begins by taking up the Gregorian melody of Veni creator, but this is to better distort it, to diffract it between the sixteen voices which form the whole. Harvey tackled liturgical texts as well as modern poems, with always astonishing and beautiful results. Léo Warynski guides his troops with a sure hand through the twists and turns of these scores, and can count on the members of the choir to change into soloists at will when the music requires it, with in the first place the very recognizable timbre of the soprano Anne-Claire Baconnais to name but one.

The Musée d'Orsay thus gives a superb start to a musical season placed under the sign of spirituality, in relation to The Poem of the Soul by Louis Janmot.

The Metaboles hold the angels above the Musée d’Orsay

Resmusica - Patrick Jézéquel
The Angels


The Metaboles hold the angels above the Musée d’Orsay

For the first concert of its season, the auditorium of the Musée d'Orsay invites the Métaboles in a recital of sacred song, "The Angels", resonating with the concomitant exhibition dedicated to Louis Janmot (1814-1892) and entitled : “The Poem of the Soul.”

We knew Les Métaboles were at ease when, with all voices out (nearly 50 in total), they filled the volume of a nave (in this case that of the Vézelay basilica). Here they are in a much smaller space - that of the auditorium of the Musée d'Orsay -, with quiet and fairly dry acoustics, which perfectly suits their squad: sixteen singers. Or even much less, when, at the very beginning, four of them intone the Ave verum corpus (1605) by William Byrd, placed behind the audience, at the back of the room. The effect is striking, especially since we expected to hear their comrades on stage. The Catholic liturgy envelops us in this intimate motet, very slow and very collected. So, today, time for clarity, intensity and conviviality!

The program is based on that of the disc The Angels (NoMadMusic, 2021, Clef d'or ResMusica) augmented by three songs by Benjamin Britten (A Hymn to the Virgin, 1930), John Taverner (The Lamb, 1982) and Arvo Pärt (The Deer's Cry, 2008). Composers from the Renaissance (Byrd, Purcell, Palestrina) and others from the 20th and 21st centuries (Harvey, Britten, Pärt, Taverner), all pious and custodians of a musical culture that they transformed. Twelve songs in all, the combination of which plays on the double picture of polyphonic clarity and a certain contemporary expressiveness (for example, The Deer's Cry by Arvo Pärt, obsessive and sober – two trademarks of this creator – and which will be given again as an encore). Always with this concern to put man, that is to say the believer, at the center, therefore man alone addressing his god, hence the importance given to the text and the exclusivity to the naked voice. It is all the aesthetic interest of a choir reduced to its minimum, which ensures the intelligibility of the song in its different layers. This can be heard more particularly in Come, Holy Ghost (1984) and Plainsongs for Peace and Light (2012) by Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012), which both take up the simplicity of expression of plainsong, which we could be described as a novel. Harvey is also the most present composer this afternoon, with six pieces, surely the most astonishing too, characterized by an incredible refinement, which produces: the mystical character of his inspiration with his personal dimension, an instability maintained between worry and peace (which contrasts strongly with, in particular, the architectural solidity of the Stabat Mater [1580] by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina), swirling harmonies, variations between melisma and syllabic singing, the extreme layering of registers based on chords in drone, or the clever tiling of voices as well as the surprising descending glissandi at the end of Come, Holy Ghost. All these effects are wonderfully rendered by an ensemble attentive to the flexible inflections of the conductor.

Very finely thought out, the sequence of pieces follows several concerns. First, keep the attention of listeners by alternating songs of different characters or levels of complexity. Thus the Ave Verum corpus by William Byrd and Remember not, Lord, our offenses (1681) by Henry Purcell frame A Hymn to the Virgin by Benjamin Britten and three songs by Harvey: I love the Lord (1976), Come Holy Ghost and Plainsongs for Peace and Light. Second, preserve a certain variety, in a stable context, through the regular distribution of solos. We will remember, in Byrd's Ave Verum corpus and Harvey's The Annunciation (2011), the powerful soprano Anne-Claire Baconnais, the alto Aurélie Bouglé as well as the bass Jeroen Bredewold, and, in Come, Holy Ghost, the sublime soprano Amandine Trenc and tenor Benjamin Aguirre Zubiri, whose songs literally fly out of the frame. Third, make a sort of intellectual or cultural nod by following Purcell's Remember not, Lord, our offenses and Harvey's Remember, O Lord (2003), a way of emphasizing an inspiration and a filiation.

The public was able to commune with extremely nuanced singers led by their leader, Léo Warynski, visibly grateful to his musicians and very happy to be among us.

A cleverly arranged program such as Léo Warynski likes

ConcertClassic - Alain Cochard
Symphonie chorale

In concert and on record, Léo Warynski and his Métaboles spoil us! We found the conductor and his choristers at the Rencontres musicales de Vézelay, on August 25, for what constituted their first appearance as part of the event as an ensemble associated with the Cité de la Voix (until 2025) ; an appointment all the more eagerly awaited as the Métaboles presented themselves in large numbers in a program including one of the most extraordinary choral achievements of the end of the last century: the Choral Concerto by Alfred Schnittke. The score will only have had more impact placed as it was at the end of a program (entitled “Choral Symphony”) cleverly arranged as Léo Warynski likes them.

Kaleidoscope of images

The motet Spem in alium for 40 voices by Thomas Tallis opens the evening: taking possession of the immense space of the basilica by the choir (arranged in a circle on the stage for this piece), all the more striking for the listener that Warynski immediately demonstrates all his mastery of a sound material that the ear has the sensation of palpating. In its full expansion, as in its most infinitesimal expression: we measure it with the Tutto in una volta by Francesco Filidei (1973), a 2020 piece on a poem by Nanni Balestrini (where the writer plays on fragmentation, the word , the syllable: a way of returning, in Italy in the 60s, to what Marinetti and his futurist friends (1) offered before the First World War, claiming an approach no less anti-bourgeois) during which , according to Filidei, the music accompanies the text “by stringing together series of chords that cause the color to mutate slightly at each moment in a kaleidoscope of images. » A process that Warynski and his choristers translate and poetize with a confounding art of tiny nuance... of almost nothing...
Mahler transformed by Gérard Pesson

Change of climate with Gérard Pesson's transcription of the famous Adagietto from Mahler's 5th Symphony. For the head of the Metaboles, it is a question of kneading with both hands the material of a transcription in which Pesson draws on extracts (chosen by Martin Kaltenecker) from the Venetian Sonnets and the 1824 Diary of August von Platen. A true feat is the transition from the orchestra to the choral universe, accomplished with an extraordinary sense of timbre: the piece takes its place very high in the list of transcriptions from the orchestra to the choir. Iridescence of the female music stands, abysmal depth of bass, flexibility and density without heaviness of the choral mass... The illusion is all the more perfect as Warynski has, as we know, a pronounced taste for such arrangements and can count on the interventions of admirable soloists: Anne-Laure Hulin (sop.), Laura Muller (alto), Marco van Baaren (tenor). His success is also due to his deep attention to the meaning of words; those of Von Platen in this case, a German homosexual poet who took refuge in Venice at the beginning of the Romantic century; further those of the 10th century Armenian monk, mystic and composer Gregory of Narek – extracts from his Book of Lamentations.

Human clay and quest for the absolute

From this work (translated into Russian by Naum Grebnev), Alfred Schnittke, converted to Christianity in 1982, took four fragments and immersed himself between 1984 and 1985 in writing the Choral Concerto. 49 singers, a score for mixed ensemble in sixteen parts: a particularly experienced sound architect is absolutely required to confront such a monument. We have it – and in what order! – with Léo Warynski. The Concerto has no shortage of spectacular moments and the conductor, followed by singers with impeccable intonation accuracy throughout, knows how to highlight them. It remains that the emotional force of his approach comes first, we return, to his ability to always anchor his reading in the words. The poetic and spiritual richness of the writings of Gregory of Narek continually guides him. “I wrote for the righteous and the sinners [...], for the oppressed and the great princes” ... Nothing disembodied, but quite the contrary a mixture of human clay and the quest for the absolute to which Schnittke totally identifies through a composition inscribed in the great tradition of Russian Orthodox music – in line with Tchaikovsky’s Liturgy and Rachmaninoff’s Vespers. A truly overwhelming experience, to which three admirable soloists made a particular contribution: Maya Villanueva (sop.), Marco Van Baaren (tenor) and Guillaume Olry (bass). Exactly contemporary with the Choir Concerto, the second of Schnittke's three Sacred Hymns, offered as an encore, completely captivates the audience. An evening written in the annals of the Vézelay Musical Meetings. Let us hope that the Métaboles will one day, hopefully soon, offer us a recording of the Choral Concerto...

Great art, served by Métaboles in great shape

Resmusica - Patrick Jézéquel
Symphonie chorale

“Choral symphony” in Vézelay: Les Métaboles thinks big!

After the St. Matthew Passion, return to the Sainte-Madeleine basilica, as part of the Rencontres musicales de Vézelay, for a choral madness spanning four centuries of composition, with pieces by Thomas Tallis, Gustav Mahler transcribed by Gérard Pesson, Alfred Schnittke and Francesco Filidei.

Great art, served by Métaboles in great shape. Very finely thought out, the program is built on solid and sometimes secret links. This is what Léo Warynski and Guy Gosselin reveal, gathered around Emmanuelle Giulani at the traditional “hearing session” which precedes the concert. A bridge between eras, the latter highlights connections between works and musicians, played or not this evening: the plurality of choirs in the Spem in alium (date unknown) by Thomas Tallis (c. 1505-1585) and Tutto un una volta ( 2020) by Francesco Filidei (born 1973); the inspiration that the latter draws from György Ligeti’s Lux æterna; the “polystylism” of  Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) and Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998), composers borrowing from diverse sources; finally, the multiple affinities woven by Gérard Pesson (born in 1958) transcribing in Kein Deutscher Himmel (1996-1997) the Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 (1901-1902). Precisely, for Pesson, who, in an interview about the work of transcription, cites the name of Salvatore Sciarrino, incidentally one of Francesco Filidei's former composition teachers, "a composer was never born under X." . We should not forget the Slavic roots of a choir director who included Schnittke’s Choral Concerto (1984-1985) as his main course. Intended as such by Léo Warynski, this evening plays on the dual picture of invention and memory so that listeners experience a few shocks without having lost all bearings.

les Métaboles form a full circle on the stage before singing Tallis’ 40-voice Spem in alium. You have to imagine the singers placed in front with their backs to the audience. Men and women alternate in small groups of 2 or 3. So a particular spatialization for a piece which is no less so, written for 8 choirs and 5 voices on Latin lyrics whose origin is the Book of Judith. This contrapuntal composition expresses a supplication addressed to God, first uttered very humbly by two sopranos and gradually swelling, contaminating all registers. A long phrase which stretches, becomes richer, is cut up and redoubles into rhythmic cells, dies away before being taken up in a crescendo to burst into a tutti on important words such as Deus meus. The audience finds themselves enveloped in a long continuum that is constantly changing and rarely interrupted. The delicacy and fervor of such a piece are perfectly rendered by the singers.

From an anarchist father and a practicing Catholic mother, Francesco Filidei, himself a notable organist, therefore inherited this double tradition, which is felt in his musical production, as here with Tutto in una volta – “All at once” – inspired by a text by the avant-garde poet Nanni Balestrini (1935-2019), “Ma noi facciamone un'altra” (1966), which can be translated as: “But let's try one more time”. Modeling its composition on an unstructured poem that rejects lyricism and narration ("There is no more / Time for / But everything / In at the same time / Both what / We have / Already said to each other / Like that on / The paper / All at / At the same time…), Filidei plays on what remains, the syllables, by placing “series of chords which cause the color to mutate slightly at each moment in a kaleidoscope of images. » We begin by hearing "ah" murmured here and there throughout the choir facing us, to the very beautiful effect of bubbles bursting on the surface of a pond, then what very strongly resembles the beginning of Ligeti's Lux aeterna, also mixed a cappella choir written in canon and in an imperceptibly evolving micropolyphony. The wave slowly swells, the tension drops then begins a long decrescendo until the initial “ah” returns. It is difficult to forget Ligeti and appreciate this Tutto in una volta even though it was successful.

The same difficulty presents itself to the ear, faithful but naturally lazy, when listening to Gérard Pesson's Kein Deutscher Himmel, a transcription of the Adagietto from Mahler's Symphony No. 5: can it forget the model? But the hair stands on end and tingles run through the body at the first bars, when the supple voices of the violas resonate on the piano, taken up solo at the far right of the stage by the very timbre of Laura Muller. It's beautiful to cry. While respecting the original score, the composer sought to reproduce the very rich and subtle acoustic universe of the Venice lagoon, not only thanks to the complicity of Martin Kaltenecker, who added extracts from the Venetian Sonnets as well as the Journal of German romantic poet August von Platen (1796-1835), but also and above all by the fine variation of timbres and the use of the extreme high notes of a soprano (Anne-Laure Hulin, masterful) in order to circumvent the inevitable reduction of the ambitus of the choir in relation to that of the orchestra. It took the excellence of an ensemble like the Métaboles to interpret this metamorphosis.

Last, but not least: the four movements of the Choir Concerto, by Alfred Schnittke, lasting approximately 45 minutes. In the Russian Orthodox tradition, “concerto” is to be understood as “motet” or “cantata”. The text: The Book of Lamentations by the Armenian monk and poet Gregory of Narek (951-1003), in the Russian translation by Naum Grebnev. Be careful, excess presides here, from meditation to incantation and from confidence to mystical trance, with very powerful crescendos and tuttis, the very beautiful melismas of solo voices soaring above the mass ( the soprano Maya Villanueva, the tenor Marco Van Baaren), successive waves of increasing intensity or even the “black sorrow” of an instant prayer. Very collected themselves, all of the choristers perfectly convey the lyricism, the dramaturgy and the devotion which underlie this spiritual piece from start to finish. The space of the basilica will have offered throughout the evening (at least in the first rows) the space required by this choral music.

he generous Léo Warynski announces as an encore the second of the Three Sacred Hymns (1984) by the same Schnittke. Thanks, Maestro!

A packed church for a high-level choral evening

Resmusica - Patrick Jézéquel
Singing Ravel

Making Ravel heard a cappella: this is the very beautiful idea presented by Léo Warynski and the Métaboles as part of the Rencontres musicales de Vézelay, organized by the Cité de la Voix. A Ravel revisited by four transcriptionists: Clytus Gottwald, Thierry Machuel, Gérard Pesson and Thibault Perrine. When choral singing swells a universe full of grace and color ...

On the program, a dozen songs, some from opuses written directly for the voice, as well as Les Trois Chansons, Ravel’s only a cappella work; the others for instruments, even orchestra, like the Bolero, which will be the star of the evening. Gentle immersion with Pavane pour une infante defunte (1899-1910), transcribed for choir by Thibault Perrine, who will greet him at the end of the concert. He borrows the text from another pavane, very famous this one: Belle qui tient ma vie. The flexibility of the voices and the homogeneity of the whole are immediately appreciated, as well as the management of effects, such as this suspension on the verge of silence before the theme is reexposed. The same Perrine will end the evening with the sparkling Bolero (1928). This success, which has become global, to the great surprise of its composer, has this evening the same spontaneous support from the public, who not only have the original in their ears, but appreciate the great qualities of the arrangement for vocal ensemble. . And it is indeed a joy to see as much as to hear the slow crescendo of a repetitive melody supported by an intangible rhythm. The themes, sung by one or two male voices, circulate from desk to desk then swell, being taken up by an increasing number of choristers. Congratulations also to the men responsible for whistling between their teeth the ostinato, originally struck on a snare drum. A pounding on the platform is heard timidly before its general spread. At the end of the day, this bass drum effect doubles as the men beat their chests while the women hit their thighs. The picturesque and joyfulness of the work is conveyed with a certain humor by the whistles that accompany the two themes and the "wow, wow" of the tenors who comment on them. The acclaimed Bolero will even be given in part during the second encore.

The difficulty or the embarrassment, listening to an arranged music, is the memory of the reference in its original workforce, and we can regret that many transcriptions, however successful they may be, give the impression to stick to their model. This is certainly not the case with tLa Pavane de la Belle au Bois dormant (1908-1912), adapted by Thierry Machuel, which clearly plays the four desks, thus conveying the diaphanous elegance of the Ravelian universe. A quiet whistle further reinforces the impression of distance or false lightness emanating from such music as from a flower garden. Also noteworthy is the transcription of Soupir (1913) by Clytus Gottwald, whose quivering high-pitched superimposed voices irresistibly evoke Ligeti's Lux aeterna. This piece was commissioned by Gottwald, who premiered it in 1966, the year it was composed, with his ensemble, the Schola Cantorum in Stuttgart. Certain pieces stand out for their joyful and hopping side, such as Nicolette, the first LesTrois Chansons (1914-1915). Others by the flight of solo voices, such as La Flûte enchantée (1903), extracted from Scheherazade and arranged by Gérard Pesson (born in 1958), where the soprano Amandine Trenc (sublime!) Stands out in volutes on a carpet of low notes.

This 21st edition of the festival, which forges a secret link between two Apaches, Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) and the conductor Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht (1880-1965), is a pleasant wink. In fact, from 1900 until the First World War, the Parisian circle of friends, self-baptized the Société des Apaches, met, in which all of Ravel's works were created. As for Inghelbrecht, he spent his summers very often, from 1923 until his death, in his house on rue Saint-Étienne, located some 150m from the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, as one plaque recalls. A church is packed today for a high-end choral evening.

The masterful ending wrings the bravi and ovation from an enthusiastic audience

Olyrix - Emmanuel Deroeux
Singing Ravel

It is with the world premiere of the transcription of the Pavane pour une infante defunte for choir for four mixed voices by Thibault Perrine, on the sublime poem Belle qui tient ma vie by Thoinot Arbeau, that tonight's concert begins, in the sumptuous Basilica of Vézelay. The direction of Léo Warynski gets rid of everything superfluous, suggesting by its flexible and round gestures the sonorous material of the choir, itself very round, mellow. In the generous acoustics of the basilica, the pronunciation of the texts and the precision of the attacks seem at first to suffer from this priority search for the beauty of the sound. Gradually, as the artists of the choir gain confidence, these slight flaws diminish. At several times, the listener is caught up in delicious harmonies colored with great care, such as the piano nuance offered on "Que l’amour qui m’époint décroisse d’un seul point ". The listener is transported by the obviously magical colors of Le Jardin Féérique, whose overall dynamics are thought out in a progressive manner until the final note, powerful but by no means overwhelming. The counter-d by soprano Anne-Claire Baconnais has the rare (even incredible for such pitches) quality of leading, sure and fine, towards the cadential (concluding) part. The ethereal pianissimo of "Toi, le coeur de la rose" from L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, hypnotizes. The colors that are offered are like pastel with watercolor effect, light and transparent, but in such an intense performance that one of the sopranos falls for it. The fear over (and the fall being in fact due to an indisposition), Amandine Trenc will return some time later, joining the ensemble while remaining seated to ensure her part, particularly important for "Le flûte enchantée", transcription of Scheherazade. Despite her great fatigue, the singer gives out a crystalline voice, light and agile like a flute. For the Trois chansons for a cappella choir, the music and texts of which are by Ravel's own hand, the soprano Lorraine Tisserand acts as a soloist on Trois beaux oiseaux de paradis on a beautiful choir mat and some echoes, making a voice heard. bright and very tender.

As a final, Les Métaboles offers a world premiere of the transcription of the Boléro for 16 mixed voices by Thibault Perrine. The choice leaves first of all questionable as to the possibility of transcribing for voice only a work of which all the flavor is the instrumentation. Admittedly, the rhythmic ostinato (repeated figure) at first appears a little irregular, but it nevertheless gains in confidence as the work progresses. The end of the second melodic phrase is however still too low in the registers to sound well and the endurance necessary for this long work sometimes gives rise to fear of a noticeable drop in accuracy. However, Les Métaboles values ​​the work of transcription, still succeeding in reconstituting certain instrument timbres, such as the horn "wah wah" by the tenors, also completed by body percussion. The rich harmonies, with octaves and fifths, work very well thanks to the female voices, whose parts are almost individual. The masterful ending, with a collective kick, snatches the bravi and ovation from an enthusiastic audience. Although they enjoyed Le Jardin Féérique as an encore, which was the subject of a clip during the first confinement, the public asked for the Bolero again. Léo Warynski gives in and gives the last fifth of the work, with a little rushed tempo and an ostinato probably tired, but not lacking in shared enthusiasm!

Photo : François Zuidberg

4 F - In the acoustical setting of the Royaumont Abbey, Les Métaboles bring to life an a cappella repertoire of famous Englishmen, from Henry Purcell to Jonathan Harvey

Télérama - Sophie Bourdais
The Angels - CD

In the acoustical setting of the Royaumont Abbey, Les Métaboles bring to life an a cappella repertoire of famous Englishmen, from Henry Purcell to Jonathan Harvey.

Supple, clear, and warm, the voices of Les Métaboles are just as capable of intervening as soloists and ensuring the clarity of the vocal lines as they are of blending into the choral polyphony. They are marvelous in this agelessly modern repertoire, which plays with a Gregorian plainchant coated in a vocal mist and traversed by turbulence (Plainsongs for Peace and Light), sculpting the sound with bewitching harmonic sequences (I love the Lord), and finally taking us into another dimension (The Angels), with a floating and strangely comforting beauty.

5 stars - the perfect intonation of Les Métaboles under the crafted conducting of Léo Warynski

Classica - Jérémie Bigorie
The Angels - CD

Recorded within the walls of the monks' refectory at Royaumont Abbey, the entirely a cappella programme combines ancient and contemporary periods. William Byrd's Ave Verum immediately reveals the perfection of Les Métaboles' intonation under the crafted direction of Léo Warynski. A space opens out, starting from the opening quartet of soloists from the pulpit, to the full ensemble. The latter is arranged in a double choir for Palestrina's sublime Stabat Mater, taken at a relatively fast tempo. The result is a choral effusion of great fluidity, of which the quality of execution precludes any precipitation, especially during the exchanges in alla breve values. We find this urgency in Purcell's Remember Not, of which the intensity represents a gesture of desperation. It is echoed in Jonathan Harvey's Remember, to whom the album pays a fine tribute nine years after his passing.

... the combination of dynamic clarity and agile energy that characterises Leo Warynski

Olyrix - Charles Arden

A Birth and a  Re-Birth, both passionate and enthralling are on the programme of this concert recorded at the Cité de la Musique-Philharmonie de Paris. The music of Pierre Boulez is continually resurgent five years after his death, and music continues to recreate with for example the fascinating Requiem by Francesco Filidei (born in 1973 and who notably marked the operatic world with his opera L'Inondation (the Flood), especially as this rebirth echoes the Stabat Mater by Palestrina (a composer of the musical Renaissance: in 16th century Rome). Music thus continues to be reborn even in times of lockdown, recorded, but behind closed doors, and thanks to the immense and sustained work of the Ensemble intercontemporain, the vocal ensemble Les Métaboles and Léo Warynski. The conductor even reminds us, before the concert, how much the musicians need this return to music and this physical presence.

The pleasure of rediscovering the music is thus visible and audible for these instrumentalists and singers who, together, make the most of the richness of their individual timbres to serve a common musical project, guided by the combination of dynamic clarity and agile energy that characterise Leo Warynski.

In the galaxy of a cappella choral singing, les Métaboles, is a star of the highest ranking.

Télérama - Sophie Bourdais
Jardin féérique - album

From Ravel to Saint-Saëns or Britten, the vocal ensemble Les Métaboles, reveals its version of utopia to us.
Are you in need of some air ? A fairytale garden, a bucolic album, this third opus by Les Métaboles, reaches out to you. You can just amble through it or even fantasize about a relatively domesticated nature. Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, is moved by the celestial sounds produced by Saint Cecile, the patron saint of musicians, and supernatural creatures inhabit the pretty Ormonde woods. The evenings are long, meditative and bewitching. Drama starts brewing when the birds of paradise return from war, then disappears when Lazy John finds love by cutting Scots’ broom....
In this extraordinary garden there are humans who sing in English as well as in French, with beautiful, expressive voices, able to adapt to different styles of musical writing and (re)creating the most fitting atmosphere on each occasion.
The repertoire mixes well-known pieces, such as Maurice Ravel's "Trois Chansons" (1875-1937), and others that are less well-known, such as transcriptions of "Le Jardin féerique" and "La Vallée des cloches", from the Ravellian cycles "Ma Mère l'Oye" and Miroirs. The nostalgic pieces by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) are to be rediscovered, the "Hymn to St Cecilia" by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) and his "Five Flowers Songs" are particularly appealing, and R. Murray Schafer (born 1933) offers a post scriptum of lavish vocality. 

In the galaxy of a cappella choral singing, the ensemble Les Métaboles, founded in 2010 and directed by Leo Warynski, is a star of the highest ranking.

the prominent position that the group founded and directed by Léo Warynski occupies in the choral landscape.

ConcertClassic - Alain Cochard
Jardin féérique - album

Nearly four years after the release of "Une nuit américaine", an admirable panorama of American a cappella choral production between 1920 and the very beginning of this century, the choir Les Métaboles is once again spoiling us with Jardin féerique, a predominantly French album that reminds us of the prominent position that the group founded and directed by Léo Warynski occupies in the choral landscape.
The recording is now available and we can only warmly recommend to all lovers of this repertoire to plunge into it; it will delight them!

A delicious choral and floral journey

Sélection Figaro - Thierry Hillériteau
Jardin féérique - album

The quality of the sound balance and diction of the eighteen singers of the Métaboles can only be praised here. Both in the exercise of transcription (Jardin féérique, adapted from "Ma mère L'oye" by Thierry Machuel) and the more contemporary repertoire ("Miniwanka" by Schafer). A delicious choral and floral journey.

... an original repertoire and, above all, a strong musical identity.

5 étoiles Classica - Jacques Bonnaure
Jardin féérique - album

The ensemble sound of Les Métaboles is interesting, both solid and refined, very precise and clear, with soloists of the highest level. It is obvious that, under the direction of Leo Warynski, this ensemble has forged an original repertoire and, above all, a strong musical identity.

An original and cleverly designed program

Resmusica - Pierre Degott
Jardin féérique - album

Les Métaboles, led by its conductor and creator Léo Warynski, continues its exploration of the choral a capella repertoire. This has brought us some fine discoveries of pieces rarely heard, such as for example the "Three songs" for a capella choir by Ravel, on a text by the composer, or even a number of pieces by Saint-Saëns, one of which, "The Flowers and Trees ", was also written by its composer. The thematic coherence of the program is ensured by the recurring subject of nature, which informs as much the pieces of French composers as Britten's "Five Flower Songs", the text of which is borrowed from different poets. From the great English musician, we hear with pleasure the superb "Hymn to St. Cecilia", a well-known piece across the Channel but, inexplicably, rarely performed in France. This cycle written on a text by the poet W.H. Auden was supposed to revive the tradition of the Odes at Sainte-Cécile of the late seventeenth century English. The CD ends with the very contemporary "Miniwanka or The Moments of Water" by composer Raymond Murray Schafer, a work that cleverly complements the thematic program of the album by his attempts to imitate the sound of water.

Rich without unnecessary luxury, the interpretation of the Métaboles always seduces by the exactitude of the intentions that their leader, Léo Warynski, knows how to obtain

Le Monde - Pierre Gervasoni
Jardin féérique - album

To testify to the level of excellence it has reached after ten years of existence, the ensemble Les Métaboles could not find better than the first track on this recording. Thierry Machuel's superb transcription of Ravel's "Jardin Féérique" allows it to unfold endlessly in a choral space that other planets will then come to cross during this voyage that is in turn soothing (Saint-Saëns' "Romance du soir"), dreamlike (Ravel's "La Vallée des cloches", transcribed by the master craftsman Clytus Gottwald) and hedonistic (various pages by Britten). Rich without unnecessary luxury, the interpretation of Les Métaboles always seduces by the exactitude of the intentions that their leader, Léo Warynski, knows how to obtain. In particular, in Raymond Murray Schafer's delectable "Miniwanka or the Moments of Water," which closes this enchanting journey.

Ovation by a public, surprised and finally conquered

De Profundis au Festival de Ribeauvillé

Modernize the old
With Marc-Antoine Charpentier and his younger brother of a (grand) generation Johann Sebastian Bach, the listener knows that, barring an unlikely cataclysm, he will navigate the safe waters, though sometimes surprising of a well-honed aesthetic, a known theme; he is going to watch for the "little nothing" that is the signature of the conductor or the soloist, their audacity to get off the beaten track a thousand times by highlighting opus little played ... Leo Warynski did all this with "his" Metabolites, giving a breathtaking dimension to the Mass of the dead of the French composer, playing contrasts and sound complementarities between different voices, putting into space, almost quadraphonic, the "Transfige dulcissime Jesu" before proposing a very removed reading of the chorale "Aus tiefer Not" from Kantor.
But it is with Philippe Hersant's "Psalm CXXX", composed in 1995, that the music has demonstrated its ability "to abolish both time and centuries", in the words of the choir director, an identical text to that of the chorale that preceded it in the program, the same instrumentarium reduced to the essential with a viola da gamba and the positive organ that weave a more dramatic climate than in Bach to return at times to an interiority "to the Schütz on which the four-voice mixed choir sails as a lord.
The modernity, the news at Hersant, is in its contrasts, its flash of sound, its oppositions between almost silence and large vocal architectures they nestle ... Ovation by a public at first astonished, then surprised and finally conquered. "

...singers freed from tension and even more radiant...

Diapason - Pierre Rigaudière
The Angels au Festival de Royaumont

On this occasion a cappella, Les Métaboles are, with their concert "The Angels", at the heart of the weekend's 'In Flight' theme. We actually take off with a programme concocted by the very efficient Léo Warynski, at the heart of which is the vocal music by Jonathan Harvey and which naturally resonates with Byrd, Palestrina and Purcell.
Unaggressive and marked by a harmonic hedonism that resembles the Scandinavian and Baltic choral vein, Harvey's meditative music reflects his Buddhist inspiration. Performed during the encore by singers freed from tension and even more radiant, the short piece “The Angels” abundantly fills the acoustics of the Monks' Refectory and illuminates the evening.

Les Métaboles, valiant choir

Le Monde - Pierre Gervasoni
La résidence des Métaboles à Royaumont

Founded in 2010 by Léo Warynski, Les Métaboles is a chamber choir created in the wake of Accentus, founded two decades earlier by Laurence Equilbey. However, as its name suggests, the formation is constantly changing to adapt to various types of repertoire. Originally made up of a majority of young people, it now includes seasoned singers such as Marc Busnel and Paul-Alexandre Dubois. Each is capable of performing as a soloist. After having visited the 20th century movements for a cappella choir by Poulenc or Rachmaninov, and having been involved in numerous creations such as "Papillon noir", Yann Robin's opera, the choir is starting a three-year residency in Royaumont. In the meantime, a recording to be released this autumn by NoMadMusic will illustrate a quest for originality (the unexpected Murray Schafer with Ravel and Britten) that is not on the point of coming to an end. "I have a thousand years of repertoire in front of me," says Léo Warynski mischievously.

An exceptional sound experience

La Croix - Emmanuelle Giuliani,
Mysterious Nativity à Vezelay

There are days like this when everything seems to be subject to the generous whim of a good fairy. The weather is admirable, the air light, the music exciting. Thus, this Saturday at the end of August, the third and (already!) penultimate day of the Rencontres musicales de Vézelay which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

An exceptional sound experience
In the evening, in the basilica of Vézelay, different forces (24 a cappella singers), different centuries (from the 19th to the present day), other geographical and religious eras (from the Baltic countries and Russia). At the music stand, Léo Warynski leads his ensemble, Les Métaboles, on a musical voyage dominated by introspection, nuance and the search for those vibrations that emanate from the singers' bodies to blossom throughout the entire stone edifice, from the ground to the highest vaults. This is a sound experience where the basilica itself becomes an immense and luminous musical instrument.

From Tchaikovsky's enveloping and tender Ode to Schnittke's gleaming Sacred Hymns, from Arvo Pärt's hypnotic "Magnificat" to Sviridov's impressive "Mysterious Nativity", the evidence is there: the vocal perfection of Les Métaboles rises to a rarely achieved level and the audience's concentrated listening experience is palpable.
Léo Warynski draws from the singers that which the best painters create from their palette: iridescent transparencies, brilliant textures, dazzling colours, heavenly pastels or luminous blacks... This breathtaking vocal plasticity and the intelligence of the programme engraving this evening of 24 August 2019 in golden letters in the annals of the Rencontres musicales de Vézelay. The public was not mistaken, applauding more than warmly the performers and their conductor.

A full commitment, with enthusiasm, energy

Guerre et paix - Les Musicales (Colmar)

"In the trenches of Lagny" and "La Strasbourgeoise" offer a popular, intimate vision of the war; the first work, anonymous, approaches the Great War with going, the second, the war of 70 with the words and interrogations of a child who learns that he is an orphan; the enchantment, if it is possible that the misfortune of some can make the happiness of others, is just as obvious as for the three plays (text and music) of Maurice Ravel always evoking the war, for the "Locus iste" de Bruckner and a motet by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy ; the voices are haunting, the diction clear, the engagement joyful ... and communicative since " the Ode to joy ", the fourth and pacifist fourth movement of the 9th Beethovenian symphony, was given with the help of the public.
A full commitment, with enthusiasm, of energy.

For the creation of Dimitri Tchesnokov's "Cantata for Peace", les Metaboles were associated with about thirty children from the fourth grade of the local Victor-Hugo college; singers and singers were at the height of the event, because what was proposed was not a (small) turn of song, approximate and timid, but a full commitment, with enthusiasm, energy , a clarity of pronunciation, nuances and a soundness of tone and rhythm ... that must have seduced the composer, who in this circumstance had donned the pianist's clothes.

In the usual configuration and in the company of Marc Coppey, both artistic director of the festival, multicard cellist and conductor (from Tuesday evening), Métaboles sang "Svyati" by John Taverner then "Métamorphoses" by Philippe Hersant, two opuses known as contemporary music. If the first (1995) is a long ecstatic chant almost monodic text reduced to a minimum but constantly repeated by eleven voices, the second, composed in 2013 on poems written by prisoners of the central Clairvaux, is all violence retained , like a deaf scream "made up", the cello often taking all its share, "lamento", only to emphasize "urgency or latent despair. A great work ... a set in unison.

A superlative interpretation

Diapason - Patrick Szernovicz
Io, Frammento da Prometeo de Luigi Nono

Io, frammento da Prometeo, is seventy-five minutes long, with a smooth, incredibly refined music. Although using a very modest sound material (chamber choir, three sopranos soloists, bass flute, bass clarinet, magnified by a non-standard electronic device), the Venetian composer immediately reaches a disconcerting faculty of expression. And the choir Les Métaboles and soloists from the Multilateral ensemble led by Léo Warynski give it a superlative interpretation in the vessel of the Saint-Paul church.

... the intensity always tied to the gesture of Leo Warynski

ResMusica - Michèle Tosi
Io, frammento da Prometeo de Luigi Nono

The listening is demanding, the time very stretched but the intensity always pegged to the gesture of Leo Warynski, exemplary in this performance that is performance.

A beautiful vocal and scenic commitment - Jean-Guillaume Lebrun
200 Motels de Zappa

Precise and energetic, the direction of Leo Waryniski creates a beautiful balance between the orchestra and the other musicians (...) young singers Aliénor Feix (mezzo) and marina Ruiz (soprano) also show a beautiful vocal and scenic commitment - and we could to say the same of the vocal ensemble Les Métaboles.

Impeccable vocal performance

Olyrix - Cécile Côte
200 Motels de Zappa

The work, a skilful blend of contemporary classical music and pop-rock, is masterfully performed by the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Les Percussions de Strasbours, The HeadShakers, and the Les Métaboles under the effective direction of Léo Warynski (...) Les Métaboles plays the audience part of the show, feverishly hanging on their mobile phone to film or make selfies. Their impeccable vocal performance shows only a few inaccuracies on the rhythms struck.

The singers reveal the subtleties of the work...

Io, Frammeto da Prometeo de Luigi Nono

Dream and memory

Warynski conducts, soft gestures, a dozen singers in frontal mode. Behind him, the soloists of the Multilateral ensemble make their contribution in two paroxysmal passages. Susanna Andersson, in her flutterous voice, keeps the register shrill with impressive authority. And Raphaële Kennedy and Emilie Rose Bry embody a vertiginous and swirling duo. (...)

Trusted by a serene Leo Warynski, the singers reveal the subtleties of the work by freeing them from the scenic context.

The singers are exemplary

Libération - Guillaume Tion
200 Motels de Zappa

The singers, then, who have been preparing for a few months for these particular roles, with often outrageous texts, prove to be exemplary. Their vocal quality is not surprising: they come from the lyric and master the score without difficulty - they are even mostly underused, the work is not cut to hike in the voices against or forests intervals heroic. But they seduce by the commitment that they put not only to give body to their characters, but also to stir up the spirit of the work.

Leo Warynski conducted his (large) world with flexibility

DNA - Hervé Lévy
200 Motels de Zappa

Leo Warynski conducted his (large) world with flexibility, finding subtle balances between the various protagonists and nicely resonating the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra - a little used to such a repertoire, but who seemed to really enjoy himself -, the Percussions de Strasbourg, the vocal ensemble Les Métaboles (which he founded) with an impeccable coherence and The HeadShakers, a group whose universe dares to mix between funk, jazz and "hendrixian" escapades.

This new version of 200 motels is a great success - Frédéric Goaty
200 Motels de Zappa

From the first bewitching chords, the magic operates and the irresistible power of seduction of the great Zappa music, which so naturally oscillates between the learned and the popular, stimulates our imagination. (...) Let's say it all: this new version of 200 motels directed by Antoine Gindt (musical direction Léo Warynski, video production Philippe Béziat) is a great success.

An accurate and flexible interpretation

Olyrix - Charles Arden
Nature of things

Métaboles inaugurate their residence in Royaumont in the nature of things

Well-built, the program reflects the talents and identity of the Métaboles (recently hailed by the 28th Liliane Bettencourt award for choral singing): eight vocal artists (the most concentrated formation of this modular ensemble) extoll the merits of the art, nature and the link between Renaissance polyphony and contemporary creation. The concert in the garden shows the modernity of Clément Janequin's "Chant des oiseaux" (1485-1558), the spell of the nomads "Magic Songs" by Raymond Murray Schafer (Canadian environmentalist composer, theorist and teacher, born in 1933) before "The Nature of Things", a world premiere of Diana Soh (born in Singapore in 1984, and having composed this work at the end of a residency at: a beautiful passage of relay so with Les Métaboles who start there theirs).

Perfect entry into matter, Janequin's play already combines two cardinal qualities of the following works: a precise and flexible interpretation (like the direction of the conductor) and a noise spreading effect gently amplified by the twenty or so speakers. They will express their full potential by broadcasting touch-ups in real time on the last piece, before that they gently support without betraying them, the sounds mouths closed and sucked of the Inuit but also the cry of the wolf which pays tribute "Magic Songs" of Raymond Murray Schafer.
The choir then explodes around the garden, beginning with the world premiere "The Nature of Things" by Diana Soh, a journey through the flora and electronic voice registers (sirens springing from musical saws, a whisper becoming digital didgeridoo and the soft cantilenes gradually composing extracts of "De Rerum Natura" written by the epicurean Titus Lucretius Carus).

The singers give a galvanizing vitality to the ensemble

ResMusica - Michèle Tosi
Le jour juste avant l'océan

Cendo crosses the universes in Le jour juste avant l'océan

It is in the generous acoustics of the Sainte-Marie-Madeleine church in Gennevilliers, city where the Multilateral ensemble is in residence, that Léo Warynski conducts a world premiere "The day just before the ocean" by Raphaël Cendo, an Unidentified Musical Object (OMNI), in the words of the composer, which places at the center of the project texts by Barullo, a “twelve-tone book” while protruding by the Hispano-Argentinian playwright and scenographer Rodrigo García. Léo Warynski's task is as delicate as it is well assumed, within a universe oscillating between constraint and freedom, balance of forces and excess of sound. The singers give a galvanizing vitality to the ensemble and the energy passes from one instrumental ensemble to another. The title of this OMNI takes up that of Bernard-Marie Koltès, "The night just before the forest", the terms of which Raphaël Cendo modifies, preferring as for him to spin the metaphor of the wave and the submersion.

Exceptional evening

L'Alsace - Hélène Bléger
Est-Ouest, d'un continent à l'autre

The panorama program was dedicated to the European repertoire "from one continent to another, east-west", interpreted a cappella by the crystalline and generous voices of sopranos, and deep and powerful bass. Conducted by Léo Warynski, conductor and former member of the Colmar Mastery, as Guillaume Ory with his deep bass, this concert has offered a prestigious business card throughout this exceptional evening lived intensely by music lovers .

A divine parenthesis in a music lover's life

Est-Ouest, d'un continent à l'autre

Of a rare emotional intensity, the vocal concert produces not all Les Métaboles Tuesday evening at the church Saints-Pierre and Paul d'Eguisheim literally filled a public come in number.

The precise, calm and professional gesture, the choir leader Leo Warynski took his singers on an extraordinary journey from East to West, from one continent to another as the title of the concert so well announced. Pieces interpreted with purity by all the singers letting escape deep bass or breathtaking tessitura tenors. A vocal harmony that left speechless audiences speechless. (...) It was therefore very difficult to leave the pews of the church when inexorably would end this concert and, down on earth, the public still had to face the elements. Keeping however an unalterable memory of a moment of pure happiness, a divine parenthesis in a life of music lover.

Leo Warynski, who confirms his ability and that of his vocal ensemble of Metaboles to make melodious the most unlikely music - Michel Grinand
Le Papillon noir

Création du papillon noir de Yann Robin - Monologue dans l'au-delà

"It took nine years for composer Yann Robin and writer Yannick Haenel to collaborate on a lyrical work. The result is even more powerfull since the two accomplices have agreed to describe the passage of life to the death of a transgender human being. Under their influence, this fleeting moment becomes a moment of eternity of fifteen minutes during which the listener attends, in an atmosphere of sound disintegration, the extinction of a living being. The strings of the Multilateral Ensemble rub, tap and creak, brass with turned mouths produce blown sounds, percussion beats like a distraught heart, tinkle like a knell or hammer the highlights of this descent into hell. The Metaboles choir chanting mantras from the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thödol), panting like a breathless soul, vociferates secret words under the energetic and inspired leadership of Leo Warynski.
 "It's a very energetic music, powerful, disconnected from the notions of tone and atonality and where the chorus mixes lyricism and saturation of the sound so that its granulation merges with that of the orchestra," says the young chef Léo Warynski, who confirms his ability and that of his vocal ensemble Metaboles to make melodious music the most improbable. Leading Le Papillon noir involves working on the beat and rhythm and managing the energies produced to dramatize the action. It's a very virtuosic direction."

... great expertise

Diapason- Pierre Rigaudière
Papillon noir

Voice of the Hereafter at the Festival " Les Musiques de Marseille "
At each National Center of Music Creation its showcase. That of the GMEM in Marseille, the festival Musics, raised its curtain with "ThLe Papillon noir " ambitious operatic monodrama Yann Robin on a text by the writer Yannick Haenel, directed by Arthur Nauzyciel. The meeting of the vocal ensemble Les Métaboles (12 singers) and the Multilateral Ensemble (13 musicians) was certainly a rich idea. In the first place, because it blatantly opens the writing of a composer that we began to associate a little too systematic to the "saturation". The crushed sounds of the strings or clefts of the reeds are certainly there, as are the strokes on the instrument case or the strings of the piano, as well as the massive percussion reinforcements. But they are only part of the palette, also rich in Ligeti raw lights, subtle iridescence, resonances and meticulously proportioned mixtures. Chief conductor of Metaboles, Leo Warynski also demonstrates great expertise: his work on the balances between the instruments and the choir is remarkable, as is his preparation for this quarter-tone choir, the requirement for rhythmic tone, and the fashions. diversified emission - several textures of white noise, strohbass register, diffracted sounds.

Leo Warynski accompanies with joy the development of the musical discourse by large and controlled movements

Olyrix - Nicolas Mathieu
Un Noël allemand

Around a meticulously prepared program that is almost exclusively dedicated to German composers, all of the Métaboles, led by the talented young chef Léo Warynski, celebrate Christmas at the Collège des Bernardins in a friendly atmosphere.
Considered together, this choir lets perceive a beautiful sensitivity to nuances. From pianissimo to forte, it forms a homogeneous whole, and subito piano are fortunately attacked. Leo Warynski accompanies with joy the development of the musical discourse by large and controlled movements. His involvement and energy are remarkable, and he sometimes sings almost with the artists, in a dramatic crescendo

Leo Warynski, the young leader who goes up

Classica - Elsa Fottorino

Leo Warynski. The young chef coming up.
Founder of the choir Les Métaboles, he is also director of the Multilateral ensemble.
A charismatic artist on the rise.

The precision of the leadership of Leo Warynski

Anaclase - Gilles Chalassier
Rothko Chapel

The next day, the weekend closes in the refectory of the monks on a program developed around "Rothko Chapel" Morton Feldman. After a Steve Reich appetizer, "Know what is above you", a miniature chiseled by Les Métaboles where the imprint of hypnotic minimalism, "Whispers" (tribute to William Byrd) and "Three new motets in Memoriam Thomas Tallis" Steven Stucky sounds an archaic decantation magnified by the places as by the precision of the direction of Leo Warynski. Increased with the percussion of Hélène Colombotti and celesta entrusted to the fingers of Elisa Humanes, as well as the viola of Maxime Désert, the staff invite to a trip to the confines of the ether in the creation that Feldman had imagined for the pictorial installation left unfinished by Rothko in Houston.

The synergy of the whole, the homogeneity of the singers and the exemplary clarity of the diction

ResMusica - Michèle Tosi
Rothko Chapel

The weekend of the contemporary - Royaumont
Steve Reich's "Know what is above you", for women's voices and two small drums, is as short as it is galvanizing. The two works of Steven Stucky (1949-2016) for mixed choir, written in an expressive vein and a rather consonant language, allow to appreciate the synergy of the whole, the homogeneity of the singers and the exemplary clarity of the diction. They precede the masterpiece awaited by Morton Feldman "Rothko Chapel" for which the centerpiece of the stage is the celesta held by Elisa Humanes. It is the violist of the Tana Quartet, Maxime Désert, who is in the garden, facing the percussion set of Hélène Colombotti. The reverberant acoustics of the premises are ideal for melting in the same space each intervention without altering its identity. The fragile balance of this tiny music is maintained with great delicacy by Leo Warynski. In phase with percussion, Maxime Désert's conducting alto is subtly balanced, in dynamics, color and vibrato, until the appearance of the Hebrew song which brings at the end of this strange ritual a new and surprising freshness. If "Rothko Chapel" was given several times in the previous months (including the Manifesto Festival), it is clear that the listening experience, renewed by space and performers, is always different and always rewarding.

Great adaptability, plasticity of the sound according to the repertoire, acute attention to the homogeneity and the accuracy - Alain Cochard
Une nuit américaine

Leo Warynski, between choir and orchestra - A well-shared talent
An evening at the Church of the Billettes in December 2016 was part of one of the most original concerts of last season in Paris as it associated pages of American a cappella choral music performed by Léo Warynski's Les Métaboles choir to fagrances imagined by perfumer Quentin Bisch! Amazing experience that Jean-Guillaume Lebrun echoed in our columns. Leo Warynski is back for a busy end of year, Royaumont in Strasbourg and Rouen in Paris.
The sound aesthetics of Metaboles ? Great adaptability, plasticity of the sound depending on the repertoire, acute attention to homogeneity and accuracy. "She obsesses me," said L. Warynski : a choir that just sings is a chorus that sounds good ! He compares the discipline of the choir to that of the string quartet : "the same emotional force that comes from the fragility of the ensemble at the beginning".

Impeccable song

Ouest France
Une nuit américaine

Les semaines musicales de Quimper
Two memorable concerts. On one side, Metaboles delight the public with their impeccable song. On the other, the Duo Estampes impresses with its instrumental mastery.
Three reminders. The audience could no longer let go of the Metaboles singers and their leader, Leo Warynski. It must be said that the program was original, little known and especially interpreted with a rare perfection.
The concert was imagined by the young conductor with several stages, from dusk to sleep, then dawn ... Meanwhile, sleep, dream ... Starting with the "Motets" Aaron Copland, this evening announced a very beautiful night to come. Then Steven Stucky's "Whisper", a very nice tribute to Byrd's "Ave Verum", followed by Morton Feldman's plays and Morten Lauridsen's "O magnum mysterium", whose meditative character led quietly to a deep sleep. The second part of this concert was devoted to Samuel Barber. The best-known American composers in France, with the only piece that crossed the Atlantic, the unmistakable " Agnus Dei ", who was at first a string quartet, moved the audience. As a reminder, the artists had chosen to interpret a transcript of Maurice Ravel's "Jardin féerique", but the audience was able to enjoy two more pieces of the program, "Sleep" by Eric Whitaker, and "O magnum mysterium", once again greeted. The festival is coming to an end, and will certainly remain marked by this evening with the Metaboles, placed under the sign of perfection.

Great beauty of the ensemble, the purity of the vocal tones and the refinement of these young singers who allow them to have a unique sound

Classica - Romaric Gergorin
Une nuit américaine (CD)

Une nuit américaine – Works by Copland, Barber, Feldman, Whitacre
Aa beautiful panorama of vocal works all imbued with great fervor without ever falling into a firefighting drama, fatal pitfall to many contemporary composers. (...) ... we must salute the great beauty of the ensemble, the purity of the vocal tones and the refinement of these young singers who allow them to have a unique sound that we would like to hear in Feldman's "Rothko Chapel" rather than in the anecdotal "Christian Wolf in Cambridge". So this beautiful record delights us while missing a little flesh, daring and risk-taking "

An excellent record called Une Nuit américaine - Jean-Guillaume Lebrun
Une nuit américaine (CD)

The curiosity and enthusiasm of Les Métaboles (…) are matched by that of the audience. The Billettes church was packed for this concert that echoed the recent release, under the NoMad Music label, of an excellent record called “Une Nuit américaine.” (…)The commitment of the singers, felt throughout the concert was in keeping with the smooth and limpid direction of Léo Warynski, which revealed both light and darkness, density and tenuousness.

Les Métaboles continue to establish themselves on the excellent French choral scene"

Diapason - Benoît Fauchet

After six years of existence, Les Métaboles continue to establish themselves on the excellent French choral scene, on which, from Accentus to Aedes, there is no shortage of quality ensembles.

The large audience was clearly enchanted

ConcertoNet - Jérémie Bigorie
Une nuit américaine

A hit at the end : the famous "Agnus Dei", where, during the rise to the high notes, the remarkable soprano section outdid itself. It must be said that Léo Warynski is always attentive to the tactus of each piece: one perceives his true temperament as a conductor in the both smooth and charismatic way he manages the entrances. The large audience was clearly enchanted by the experience and gave the artists a standing ovation.

Les Métaboles excel in nuances

Le Babillard, "Night Songs and Candies" - Loïc Chahine
Une nuit américaine

Les Métaboles excel in nuances and the reading appears, in fact, to be one with the music itself

Léo Warynski is making his way, step by step, to becoming a great orchestra conductor

Radio Classique, le Journal du Classique - Laure Mézan
Une nuit américaine

Léo Warynski is making his way, step by step, to becoming a great orchestra conductor. Music is the road to freedom for this young conductor. With a repertoire spanning more than a millennium, Léo Warynski still refuses to choose a particular style or period. Opening up a world of possibilities, he recently innovated by offering first a record, then a concert, built around the theme of the « Nuit Américaine».

Les Métaboles rises with this record to first ranks of European choirs

France Musique, Sacrées Musiques - Benjamin François
Une nuit américaine

This week’s favourite is undoubtedly the new record by Les Métaboles, Une Nuit Américaine. We are full of admiration for this young choirmaster and orchestra conductor (…) whose approach is both modern and truly excellent, and who, more importantly, is a very subtle musician who is more than capable of directing his ensemble.
The ensemble Les Métaboles rises with this record to first ranks of European choirs, on a par with, as far as I’m concerned, the Rias Kamerchor, the vocal ensemble of the SWR from Stuttgart and the best English choirs (…). Their vocal and musical maturity come as a surprise as they have only been in existence since 2010.

One of today’s best French choirs

ResMusica, « A Emporter » - Jean-Baptiste de La Taille
Une nuit américaine

An off-the-beaten-track, quite cutting edge, program, by one of today’s best French choirs

A success such as that of the program Une Nuit Américaine...

A Nous Paris !
Une nuit américaine (CD)

A success such as that of the program Une Nuit Américaine that the choir Les Métaboles just recorded under the NoMad Music label deserves to be truly celebrated !

A sumptuous bouquet of emotions - Olivier Olgan

An excellent projected technique in an abundance of scores (…) for a sumptuous array of emotions. Always subtle, the singing is perfectly mastered and ductile.

A magnificent record which will enchant all amateurs of choral a capella singing at the highest level

ConcertoNet - Gilles Lesur
Une nuit américaine (CD)

A magnificent record which will enchant all amateurs of choral a cappella singing at the highest level and those curious to discover works rarely heard in our country. The execution highlights a high quality French professional vocal ensemble that will now have to be reckoned with.

One of the great French choral ensembles

France Musique, En Pistes - Emilie Munéra
Une nuit américaine (CD)

During this election week in the USA, En Pistes’s favourite is the latest record by the vocal ensemble Les Métaboles titled “Une Nuit Américaine”. A record, filled with discoveries, which establishes Les Métaboles as one of the great French choral ensembles.

Under the precise conducting of Léo Warynski, the twenty eight singers offer a beautiful illustration of their talents"

Forum Opéra - Laurent Bury
Une nuit américaine

A breathtaking immersion in the sacred music of the former soviet bloc

DNA - Christian Wolff
Mysterious Nativity

On Tuesday evening, in the protestant church Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune, the ensemble Les Métaboles, performed a breathtaking immersion in the sacred music of the former soviet bloc, a capella, or accompanied by the organist Denis Comtet. In the middle of a suspended evening during which the captive audience was able to admire all the qualities of this young ensemble (...): exceptional homogeneity and accuracy, roundness of texture, erratic and objective reading of the scores.

The public gave a long standing ovation to Les Métaboles, their choirmaster, and their “olfactory master"

Avant choeur
Une nuit américaine

Over a low and masculine musical background evoking the ultimate heaviness of sleep, the sopranos sang their most beautiful high notes in a chromatic crescendo leading up to a fortissimo that soared beyond the vaults of the church, signifying the return of the day and the explosion of light of a magnificent Agnus Dei filled with fervour. As if returned to consciousness, the public gave a long standing ovation to Les Métaboles, their choirmaster, and their “olfactory” master, with a double encore to end the evening on a harmonious note.

A lovely homogeneity

Classica - Bernard Dermoncourt
Mysterious Nativity

The choir Les Métaboles displays a lovely homogeneity, and, in the high voices, a very moving sensitivity.

There is no doubt as to the homogeneity of the ensemble.

Mysterious Nativity

An exceptional vocal quality


A repertoire of little-sung works, an exceptional vocal quality, a sense of nuance and performance that reveal an amazing amount of work as well as very precise sense of listening.