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Jacques Ibert

Biography

Born: August 15, 1890; Paris, France   Died: February 5, 1962; Paris, France  
Though Jacques Ibert is best remembered for a handful of orchestral bonbons in the manner and spirit of Ravel, his output encompasses nearly every genre and bears testament to a musical language characterized as much by unmistakable craftsmanship as by picturesque color. Ibert trained at the Paris Conservatory under Paul Vidal; as a student, he showed great promise and took a number of the Conservatory's awards. Following military service in Read more World War I, Ibert travelled to Italy as a recipient of the Prix de Rome; there, he composed what was to become one of his most popular works, the orchestral suite Escales (1922). This "travelogue in tones," which depicts touristy locales in Italy, Tunisia, and Spain, has come to be regarded as representative of the "Ibert sound": breezy, good-humored, and evocative. Still, Ibert was far from a "one-note" composer of chronically pleasant music. Another of his works written in Rome, La ballade de la geôle de Reading (The Ballad of Reading Gaol, 1920), is a tone poem based on Oscar Wilde's far-from-cheery reflection upon life in prison; it was the work, in fact, that first brought the composer to widespread attention.

Though most of Ibert's works for the stage remain relatively little known, both the one-act opera Angélique (1926) and the Don Quixote-themed ballet Le chevalier errant (1935) have enjoyed continued currency. More popular still, and indeed, one of Ibert's most enduring creations, is the colorful, comical Divertissement (1930) fashioned from the composer's incidental score to Labiche's The Italian Straw Hat. Reflecting the farcical frenzy of the story, Ibert's score is a comic panoply that includes everything from jazz elements to Viennese waltzes to the "Wedding March" from Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream.

Among Ibert's other works, the Concerto da camera (1935) for alto saxophone and 11 instruments stands out as one of a handful of genuine mainstays of the saxophone repertoire. Like a number of his "serious" contemporaries, Ibert also ventured from time to time into film scoring; his most conspicuous efforts in this realm include music for Orson Welles' 1948 version of Macbeth and the "Circus" sequence from Gene Kelly's Invitation to the Dance (1952). Read less
Ibert: Escales, Divertissement, Etc / Sado, Et Al
Release Date: 08/15/2000   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554222   Number of Discs: 1
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French Music For Wind Quintet - Poulenc, Ibert, Et Al
Release Date: 02/22/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557356   Number of Discs: 1
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Ibert: Piano Music - Petite Suite, Histoires / Hae-won Chang
Release Date: 05/16/2000   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554720   Number of Discs: 1
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Film Music Classics - Ibert: Macbeth, Etc / Adriano
Release Date: 05/17/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557607   Number of Discs: 1
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Weill, Ibert, Berg: Concertos / Gilbert, Schteinberg, Work, Baton Rouge Symphony Chamber Players [CD & Blu-ray Audio]
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Sono Luminus  
Catalog: 92161   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 284 Jacques Ibert recordings available.

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