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Concerto for Cello and Wind Instruments

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Jacques Ibert

Jacques Ibert

This work may also be found under its French title, Concerto : Pour Violoncelle et Orchestre D'instruments à Vent.

General Info

Year: 1925
Duration: c. 12:55
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Heugel
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


1. Pastorale: Allant – 3:35
2. Romance: Souple – 4:30
3. Gigue: Anime – 5:05


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Trumpet
Horn in F

Solo Cello


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Although the contrast may seem irresistible, there have been few concertos for string instruments with wind backing. Kurt Weill's serious, extended Violin Concerto is the most familiar, and its 1925 premiere in Paris may have inspired Jacques Ibert to write his own Concerto for Cello and Winds that year. Ibert's modest piece is more of a concertino, clocking in at only about 12 minutes and not taking time to develop the materials to any great depth. It also hints at why string solos against wind ensembles aren't more common; the balance here is difficult, and Ibert often just gives up and moves the soloist to the background, giving the "accompanying" ensemble more prominence than one would expect in a concerto.

It begins with a Pastorale: Allant. The woodwinds set the country scene with a tender, gently flowing theme soon taken up by the cello. But almost immediately the horn intrudes with a fanfare that sends the cello into burping little convulsions. The woodwinds take the lead through the rest of the movement, which, after a seemingly disorganized transition, returns to the opening material, now harmonically unsettled.

Romance: Souple begins with chattery woodwind phrases that call the movement's heading into question, but the cello arrives with a more lyrical, long-lined melody. Again, the winds attempt to dominate the proceedings, and their quietly humorous, syncopated material momentarily pushes the soloist aside. The cello returns with solo utterances blending both the movement's principal elements, concluding with an eloquent restatement of its romance melody that almost but not quite wins over the incurably perky winds.

Gigue: Animé is exactly what the title announces, a fleet pseudo-Scottish affair that quickly devolves into very mild, slightly jazzy parody. A sequence of quiet exchanges of passagework between the cello and individuals from the wind ensemble leads to a motoric little cello cadenza and a wind-dominated coda based on the gigue tune.

- Program Note by James Reel

Commercial Discography

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by this Composer