In 2017, the Ensemble arabesques began realising its idea of devoting albums to composers with a special predilection for woodwind instruments. The series was launched with the highly successful CD Gustav Holst Kammermusik. This was followed in 2019 by works of Francis Poulenc. For the third album, Jacques Ibert was an obvious choice. As with Holst, the particular charm of Ibert's works derives from the various combinations of woodwind and brass instruments, strings and harp that he uses.
But the final impetus to devote an album to Jacques Ibert came from a meeting with Véronique Ibert Péréal, the granddaughter of the composer. She heard the Deux mouvements by her grandfather live for the first time in a concert at the Goethe Institute in Paris — a very special experience for Madame Ibert Péréal! After the concert, she movingly expressed her thanks to the Ensemble arabesques. A wonderful evening with intensive discussions followed, leading to the firm resolution to carry through with the idea for an Ibert CD.
The highlight of the album is probably the Capriccio, a work that is by no means an everyday part of the core musical repertoire. Employing 10 instruments – a combination of strings, woodwinds, brass and harp – it is on the borderline between orchestral and chamber music.
L’Ensemble Arabesques dévoile joliment le jardin secret de Jacques Ibert. Pierre Carrive, 24 octobre 2021