Française and Ariette for Guitar by Jacques Ibert

Française for Guitar (1926) and Ariette for guitar (1935) by Jacques Ibert (1890–1962). Ibert was a major French composer and wrote two solo works for guitar, Française and Ariette. He also composed a chamber music work Entr’acte for flute (or violin) and harp (or guitar) in 1935. We are lucky to have these works despite being relatively short, similar to the other handful of other French composers of the period who wrote for guitar. There is another work floating around, Paraboles for flute/violin and guitar but I’m fairly certain that is just an arrangement. I wish I knew more about how these guitar works came to be written (leave a comment if you know). Here’s a nice quote via Graham Wade on this Naxos recording with Rafael Aguirre:

“Jacques Ibert, a French composer born in Paris, wrote a number of operas, ballets, and film scores, as well as orchestral, vocal and chamber music and some thirty instrumental pieces. Ibert became well known for Entracte for flute/violin and guitar (1935) but also wrote two guitar solos, Ariette (1935) and Française (1926). The first of these, a serenely lyrical composition, derives its melodic inspiration and delicate harmonies from Spain. Française, in contrast, is a virtuosic composition with a startlingly original guitaristic style. This lively dance with roots in folk-music in 2/8 time begins with rapid triplets interspersed with linking scalic passages. A middle section offers ingenious harmonic modulations, intricate cross rhythms and short bursts of melody, leading to a reprise of the first section and a vigorous coda.”

Sheet Music
All the works are available via the Publisher Alphonse Leduc but some are a little tricky to find. You can google it and find it but I’m not sure which stores are reputable. MusicRoom has them but I’ve never used them before so can’t recommend them. Maybe order from your local music store. Entr’acte is on Sheet Music Plus which I use all the time.

Recommended Videos
Lorenzo Micheli on YouTube
Rafael Aguirre via Naxos on Youtube

Recommended Recording
Rafael Aguirre on Naxos

Out of curiosity, here is the chamber music work Entr’acte for flute (or violin) and harp (or guitar) composed in 1935. This is Anders Miolin (Guitar), Qiling Chen (Flute) via his YouTube.

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  1. Thanks Bradford, I look forward to these links every week. I hadn’t heard of Jacques Ibert, and it’s nice to hear these.