- Bacchanale, scherzo for orchestra
- Divertissement, for chamber orchestra
- Ouverture de fête, for orchestra
- Symphonie marine, for orchestra
- Escales (Ports of Call), suite for orchestra
Few composers have communicated that distinctively French quality, joie de vivre, with such zest as Jacques Ibert. Mingling the serious and the silly, Ibert's orchestral music is witty, brilliantly scored, and rhythmically vital, and this budget-priced collection from Naxos assembles his most popular works along with some rarities. The Divertissement (1930) originated as incidental music for a comic play and betrays its theatrical origins with its graphic illustrations of various scenarios. In cheerfully vulgar form, Ibert parodies familiar classics such as Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" and Strauss' Blue Danube waltz, turning their sweet harmonies sour. An earlier work, Escales (1924) is a set of three evocative tone pictures portraying Mediterranean ports. Ravel's Spanish flavors hover here, especially over the final movement, "Valencia," while the middle section, "Tunis-Nefta," is a sinuous study in Middle Eastern exoticism. Also included is the Symphonie marine (1931), which derives from one of Ibert's many film scores and shows the composer's affinity for the saxophone. The Ouverture de fête (1940) and Bacchanale (1956) are lesser compositions but entertaining nevertheless. Yutaka Sado and the Orchestre des Concerts Lamoureux provide sprightly, mirthful performances of all of these ebullient works.