This fourth album from
Neeme Jarvi and the
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande explores the music of Jacques Ibert. Although Ibert’s work is starkly contrasting from piece to piece, all of his compositions show his deftness with their strong melodic lines and vigorous ostinato patterns. These recordings were taken in Geneva’s Victoria Hall, and the outstanding acoustics are easily heard on this recording.
Järvi gives us a darker Divertissement than usual. The humor is mordant rather than breezy, the tone at times acerbic. But the shimmering Nocturne, with its poised piano solo, transports us into a sensual world moreRead more fully explored in Escales…, and the latter gets one of its finest performances on disc, superbly nuanced, and quite exquisitely played.
It’s the rest of the CD, though, that makes it special. The Suite symphonique, ‘Paris’ swerves garishly between the mechanism of Pacific 231 and the classiest of foxtrots and waltzes. The sad, haunting Sarabande pour Dulcinée comes from the soundtrack for George Pabst’s 1933 film Don Quichotte. Ibert was also a master of the pièce d’occasion, and Järvi includes the riotous Bacchanale and the grandiose Ouverture de fête.
Ibert emerges from it all as a fine composer, whose unity lies in his almost impudent diversity, and who is often far from frivolous as some have maintained. And the disc allows Järvi to show off his Swiss orchestra to perfection. Very fine.
Bacchanaleby Jacques Ibert Conductor:
Suisse Romande Orchestra
Period: 20th Century Written: 1956; Rome, Italy
Featured Sound Samples
Escales: I. Rome - Palerme
Suite symphonique "Paris": VI. Parade Foraine
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
A sumptuous sonic feastSeptember 2, 2016By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA)See All My Reviews"There's a reason Chandos released this in the SACD format. Neeme Järvi and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande perform Ibert's orchestral works with sympathy and panache -- and subtle inflection. And that means every sonic detail is important. As recorded by Chandos, the orchestra, performing in Victoria Hall, Geneva, has a rich, seamless ensemble blend that can be transparent when it needs to. There's enough ambience to give the listener a sense of space, yet all the fine details of the music -- such as the solo passages -- never get lost. Escales - Ports of Call from 1924 has a languorous opening that almost a study in impressionist soft-focus. At times, Jarvi and the orchestra seem to lose themselves in the beauty of the sound. But they never lose their way. And when the piece kicks into high gear. Jarvi brings out the drama, making the most of the contrasts in the second and third movements. Jarvi's interpretation of Divertissement hits the sweet spot, I think. It's energetic, jazzy, light-hearted, and sometimes a little silly, But it all works. Ibert's Bacchanale is another high-energy work and is a real showpiece for the orchestra. The full-bodied sound of the ensemble occasionally gave me chills. By contrast, the Sarabande from Don Quichotte is a simple, and simply a beautiful orchestral song. Jarvi's interpretation is delicate and charming. The symphonic tone poem Féerique is similarly lyrical in sections but with a different, more complex character. In this performance, I heard Ibert's connection to Debussy more clearly than I had before. The other works on the album are also performed with the same high degree of musicianship -- musicianship that reveals itself in minute details. For that reason, I recommend purchasing the SACD version of this recording. If you prefer downloads, seek out the highest resolution audio files you can find. It will make a difference."Report Abuse