By Guillaume Voisenet
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A street, but also the music school of Andelys (Eure) are named after Jacques Ibert. But do the Andelysians really know who this man was to deserve so much honor?
The City will honor him Saturday, June 25, 2022 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his disappearance on February 5, 1962.
He spent his holidays in Petit-Andely
Jacques Ibert was born in Paris on August 15, 1890 but it is in Andelys, in the Normandy countryside that he has his ties.
His uncle, Adolf Albert, impressionist painter, lived in Petit-Andely. The young Jacques spent his holidays there, in a house located near the Saint-Sauveur church, which has a 17th century organ on which he had played on several occasions.
He proved to be one of the greatest musicians of the interwar and postwar period. He inherited his talent from his mother, Marguerite Lartigue, who was an excellent amateur pianist. She dreamed of her son becoming a great violinist, but it was on the keyboard that Jacques Ibert would find his way.
He showed very early talents as an improviser and, from the age of 12, he began to compose waltzes and melodies in secret from his father, a freight forwarder, who feared that the music would divert his son of his classical studies.
After passing his baccalaureate, Jacques Ibert began an apprenticeship in the family business. At the same time, unbeknownst to his family, he enrolled in a short course in music theory and harmony, and took piano lessons with Marie Dhéré.
In 1910, he decided to enter the Paris Conservatory in the classes of Émile Pessard (harmony), André Gédalge (counterpoint) and Paul Vidal (composition).
To earn a living, he gives lessons, improvises on the piano during the screening of films in cinemas in Montmartre, writes popular songs and dance music.
Comic operas and film scores
As a volunteer during the Great War, he was a naval officer in Dunkirk in 1917 and 1918. On his return from the war, he returned to music and won the First Grand Prix de Rome with his cantata “The poet and the fairy”. He won’t stop composing.
His first influences are in the classics (Mozart, Couperin, Rameau) and the moderns (Bizet, Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky) and develops a style where fantasy and humor go hand in hand.
He has many works to his credit, short pieces for piano, colorful scores for orchestra, but also some thirty film scores including that of Macbeth by Orson Welles, which he composed in Hollywood.
At the Nicolas Poussin Museum
– 2 p.m.: opening of the photo exhibition
– 3:30 p.m.: lectures by Véronique Ibert Péréal and Jacqueline Cousin
– 4 p.m.: concert by Ekaterina Glazovskaya and Fabien Desseaux. Works by Debussy, Chopin, Saint-Saëns and Jacques Ibert.
At the Palace cinema
– 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.: screening of the film La maison du Maltese. Talk around the music of the film with the participation of Louis Dunoyer De Segonzac. He has composed or orchestrated the music for more than thirty television films. He collaborated with Claude Chabrol and ensured the musical direction of the series “Chez Maupassant” and “Tales and news of the XIXth century”, on France Télévisions.
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