Jacques Ibert, Deux Interludes

March 1, 2017

Jacques Ibert (1890-1962)

Deux Interludes for Harp, Clarinet, and Cello, (1946)

Jacques IbertThis program of intimate stories, poems and otherworldly evocations richly continues with a set of two magical interludes by French composer Jacques Ibert. Around fifteen years younger than Ravel, Ibert spent his life in Paris where he composed a significant body of music for opera, ballet, orchestra, film, incidental and chamber music. While his style is wide ranging, particularly in the Deux Interludes, Ibert displays an utterly French sensibility with clarity, poise, color and vivid impression.

The two interludes come from Ibert's incidental music for Suzanne Lilar's play Le Burlador (The Seducer), apparently a feminist take on the iconic Don Juan story. The interludes comprise an eloquent music pair using a time honored slow-fast pattern and a stylistic projection of first France then Spain, a perfect representative of the Franco-Iberian mélange found throughout the music of Massenet, Debussy, Ravel, et. al. The first interlude is a timeless minuet, slow, poised, delicate and slightly wistful. Utterly French in the most topical and poetic way, the three-part form moves from chaste to animated and back, a poignant duet sustained in the rhythmic web of the harp. The second interlude is utterly Spanish, a spicy Andalusian dance alla Gitano. The harp figures prominently with its evocation of flamenco guitar while the melodic and ornamental lines by clarinet and cello evince a vivid Iberian perfume.

© Kai Christiansen Used by permission. All rights reserved.