WORKS: Flute Concerto; Escales…; Paris; Bacchanale; Bostoniana; Louisville-concert; Hommage à Mozart
PERFORMER: Timothy Hutchins (flute)Montreal SO/Charles Dutoit
CATALOGUE NO: 440 332-2 DDD
If the only Ibert you know is the witty Divertissement, then this disc may come as a revelation. True, the same irreverence and Twenties spirit pervade one or two of the works here (notably in the wackiness of the symphonic suite, Paris), but his compositional range is revealed as being particularly wide, especially by the standards of his contemporaries in ‘Les Six’. In Escales… (1922), his exotic evocation of various ‘ports of call’ around the Mediterranean, he reveals his impressionist persona, while the Flute Concerto (1934) shows him at his most neo-classical and sophisticated. The later works are different again: the wonderfully brash and hard-driven Bacchanale (1956) bringing Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance to mind, and his two scores for American orchestras, Louisville-concert (1953) and Bostoniana (1962), suggesting the influence of Bartók, particularly his Concerto for Orchestra.
The Dutoit/Montreal partnership’s return to French repertoire is a triumphant one (after some variably successful forays into more alien musical territory). These Ibert works are beautifully and exhilaratingly executed, with some fine playing from flautist Timothy Hutchins in the concerto.
The sound might be slightly more opaque than in their now classic discs of Ravel from the early Eighties, but it still has plenty of punch and colour. Matthew Rye