February 28, 2015 7:30 PM
Morrison High School Auditorium
Brahms: Tragic Overture, op. 81
Mozart: Voi che sapete from
Marriage of Figaro
Rodgers and Hammerstein:
In My Own Little Corner from
Alice Lind, soprano
Ibert: Concertino da camera
- Second Movement -
Colleen Elfline, saxophone
Dvořák: Symphony No 6
in D minor, Op 60
Allegro non tanto
Scherzo (Furiant), Presto
Finale, Allegro con spirito
Jacques François Antoine Marie Ibert (1890-1962) displayed a musical disposition at an early age, learning first the violin, then the piano. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1911 where he concentrated his studies in harmony, counterpoint, and composition. Ibert considered André Gédalge, his counterpoint teacher, the most significant influence in his training, describing Gédalge as 'an adviser, a confidant, and a very good friend.' Gédalge also advised his students in other areas of composition such as orchestration and held private classes for the best of his students.
Ibert broke off his studies to serve as a nurse and ambulance driver during World War I, and then returned to the conservatory to complete his training. In 1919, he won the coveted Prix de Rome. During his studies at the Academie de France in Rome, Ibert composed his most recognizable piece of music Escales in 1924. Along with the Divertissement of 1922, Escales (Ports of Call) gave Ibert an international reputation.
This 'most complete of French composers' exercised his skill in all the genres: Ballets, operas, orchestral, chamber, piano and vocal music. He was an early exponent of film music and wrote several scores for French films. In addition he wrote two scores for American films, one for Orson Welles' Macbeth (1948) and the Circus ballet for Gene Kelly's Invitation to the Dance (1952). He served stage productions well, writing incidental music for the farces, as well as for serious Shakespearean dramas.
In 1937 he returned to Rome to head the Academie de France, and, except for the war years, he served admirably in that position until 1960. From 1955 to 1957 he also served as director at the Paris Opéra and Opéra-Comique. In 1956 he was elected to membership in the Institut de France.
Ibert confined his interest in the saxophone to the decade of the 1930s, more precisely 1931 to 1940. He wrote six orchestral pieces that utilize the saxophone is some capacity. Three of the works are from 1935 -- Golgotha film score, Le chevalier errant ballet and the Concertino da camera.
The Concertino was written for the premier saxophone soloist of the day, Sigurd Rascher. Ibert and Rascher had met in Paris in 1933 through the auspices of Marya Freund, a soprano and advocate of modern music. Following an afternoon of conversation, Ibert, according to Rascher, returned to Paris to begin the composition of the Concertino, the first movement of which he completed by early 1935. Rascher performed this movement on May 2, 1935, in Paris at a concert of contemporary music. The first full performance of the Concertino da camera was given in December at Winterthur, Switzerland, with Rascher as soloist and Hermann Scherchen conducting.