Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ibert conducts Ibert: Escales and Les Amours de Jupiter


In all my years of scouring thrift stores, I do not recall ever having seen this record until yesterday afternoon in a local Goodwill store. However I do recall having dismissed Escales as a piece of Gallic fluff of no particular interest to me. In my desuetude, however -- which I like to think of as my maturity -- I find I quite like the piece. I'm posting it here both because it is not a work often performed now and for the inherent interest of hearing the composer conduct his own work. It is a charming, beautifully constructed score, well worth listening to in its own right, despite my supercilious, youthful dismissal of it.


I had never heard Les Amours de Jupiter, and while in general I am neither a balletomane nor a frequent listener of ballet music, the piece is lovely and rewards sympathetic listening.

Ibert conducts the Orchestra of the Paris Opera (Orchestre de l'Opéra national de Paris), the oldest of French orchestras, founded in 1669, which plays these scores with idiomatic flair, and the recording is a great sounding monaural effort by Capitol Records that gives the lie to the notion that beautifully recorded sound only became available with the advent of stereo.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I have done.

Link to all files

12 comments:

  1. Hi Larry,

    Oddly enough, I had this same record in an admittedly large pile to digitize! I enjoy Ibert myself, having encountered Escales in my long-faded youth in the Munch-BSO recording (IIRC).

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  2. Hi Buster
    I didn't see this as available, so I was anxious to get it up. There is a very slight blip in the first minute or so of Escales, so if you have a better copy, feel free to put it up. I could then link to it. All and all I think the sound of these are reasonably good, though not brought to pristine condition by the renovation.

    I enjoy the pieces a lot. I've found it a good idea to revisit my former prejudices; some of them were clearly ill-founded. I've heard the music for Orson Welles's film Macbeth is amazingly good, and am about to order the Naxos CD that includes some it with other film music of Ibert.

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  3. Larry - I doubt my copy is better, although I haven't listened to it yet. I have a listen to yours and report back!

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  4. Larry,

    This is a terrific find! Can't wait to have a listen. I do not know the Loves of Jupiter either.

    Thanks much,

    Fred

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  5. Thanks, Fred. Hope you enjoy it. The Loves of Jupiter is delightful, I think.

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  6. I never had trouble liking Ibert's "Escales", even though I never warmed so much as I did to "Escales" to Ibert's other instrumental works. I guess it helped to discover this delectable score as a child, when the overriding and criticism-free criterion was sheer delight.

    Anyway, now that you have started to listen to this work, do not neglect the recordings by Munch (which Buster rightly cherishes) and by, above all, Ormandy. Discover Ibert's vocal music, too!

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  7. Hi - In Escales, you are missing the short Tunis-Nefta track (track 3?) in both the flac & mp3 posts. You have an extra track 2 labeled "Leda," which isn't part of escales. I really appreciate your posts - thanks - ljvsaldiv

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  8. ljvsaldiv: Oops. What did I do. When I get onto the desktop computer where my files are, I will try to figure it out. Thanks for letting me know.

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  9. FILES FIXED.

    REPOST: I GOOFED, PUTTING THE LEDA SECTION OF "AMOURS" INTO ESCALES INSTEAD OF THE TUNIS SECTION OF THAT PIECE. IT'S FIXED NOW. YOU MAY WANT TO DOWNLOAD IT AGAIN.

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  10. Thanks very much for restoring this to circulation. This very French flavour of orchestral playing is almost extinct....

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  11. PJ: Indeed it is, sadly. Having spent the first 40 years of my life in Boston, the loss -- deliberately pursued by music directors subsequent to Munch -- of the distinctive, French sound of the BSO, is something I frequently deplore at greater length than most people want to hear. Oh dear.

    Thanks for your comments, especially bring up the French flavor of the playing.

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