Thursday, December 4, 2014

Jacques Ibert - Piano Music (Complete) - Hae-won Chang - Marco Polo 1991

Jacques Ibert (1890-1962) is one of the most interesting composers I think (along with Koechlin, Poulenc, Caplet, Tailleferre..) outside of, needless to say, the giants of French music Debussy and Ravel. His piano music is charming, from the meditative to the highly playful. I first heard the nine-movement "Histoires" when I was a 20-something lad and indeed wanted more. This was before I was familiar with any of Ibert's other music ("Escales", the Flute Concerto, etc.) 

"Again, Naxos ferrets out unfamiliar repertory that delights as it teases with the question: why didn't somebody think of this before? Ibert's piano music is a bit reminiscent of Poulenc's but more straightforward. These tiny Pictures, Stories, Encounters, and sundry musical images - some 36 of them before this generous program has run its course - enchant even if they don't cut very deeply. The Romance offers Schumannesque Lyricism; the 'Abandoned Palace' and ' The Wind Over The Ruins' have spooky Gothic atmosphere; the brilliant 'Cabman's Dance' sprints off the keyboard and out of sight; the children's pieces evoke innocence and wonder in the mode of Ravel's Mother Goose.

"As usual, Naxos serves up a fresh, impressive musician along with the novel music. Korean pianist He-won Chang plays with crisp rhythms, subtle colors, and a sense of joy. The sound is warm and resplendent. This enterprising label shows that there is no reason for brainless "easy listening". Plenty of great music with a light touch is out there, waiting to be unearthed.

Jack Sullivan

American Record Guide, October 2000

Tonight I will hopefully post some of Ibert's orchestral music if I have time.




Emmanuel said...

thanks for the share! i absolutely love this "light" french composers... i promise to listen to this one carefully and comment... by the way, do you have some chabrier piano music? thanks in advance!

Tzadik said...

Emmanuel you are welcome, thanks for commenting. There is a certain lightness to some of Ibert's music, which I'd say is of substance yet sunny and playful, not taking life or academia too seriously! -Tz

Tzadik said...

Oh I do have Chabrier piano music, although at hand I can only find a historic recording right now with Marcelle Meyer, from the early 50's. Can post it if you like?

SwissEars said...

Dear Tsadik (or should I say addict? ;-))
There is so much great and unusual music on your blog. Thanks a lot.
I especially love this one. I played parts of the Petite Suite when I was young and even noe I take them out to enjoy the crystal clear, sunny and smiling music ehich is light but not simple.
The histoires are more demanding but also heartwarming music with references to other composers that meke you happy. Thanks for this wonderful post-I'm looking forward ot listen to these gems!