Magazine article Gramophone

Ibert: Bacchanale

Magazine article Gramophone

Ibert: Bacchanale

Article excerpt

Ibert [G] Bacchanale. Escales.... Divertimento. Feerique. Hommage 8 Mozart. Ouverture de fete. Sarabande pour Dulcinee. Suite symphonique, 'Paris'

Suisse Romande Orchestra/Neeme Jarvi Chandos (F) [SACD] CHSA5168 (82' * DDD/DSD)

Ibert always claimed he followed no compositional schools or aesthetic movements, though his reputation is hampered by charges of eclecticism, and his work between his gravitation towards postimpressionism (Ravel was a close friend) and a fondness for the jazz-inflected modernism of Les Six (Milhaud and Honegger were fellow composition students).

Neeme Jarvi examines the apparent contradictions by contextualising his two best-known works, the Debussian Escales ... (1920), inspired by Mediterranean ports of call during Ibert's First World War naval service, and the popular Divertissement of 1930, derived from his incidental music for a production of Eugene Labiche's An Italian Straw Hat. Jarvi gives us a darker Divertissement than usual. The humour 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 more fully explored in Escales. …

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