Auber, Daniel François Esprit

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Auber, Daniel François Esprit

 

Born Jan. 29, 1782, in Caen; died May 12, 1871, in Paris. French composer. Member of the Institut de France (1829).

Auber studied composition under L. Cherubini. From 1842 he was director of the Paris Conservatory. Beginning in 1857 he served as court choirmaster.

Auber is the composer of more than 40 operas, chiefly comic, some of which were written jointly with F. Hérold, A. Boieldieu, and others. E. Scribe was almost invariably his librettist. Of Auber’s four works in the style of grand opera, La Muette de Portici (The Dumb Girl of Portici, 1828; in Russia also known as The Palermo Bandits) is of great historical significance. Its subject, the uprising of Neapolitan fishermen against Spanish rule in the 17th century, with its theme of struggle against tyranny, corresponded to the public mood in France on the eve of the July Revolution of 1830. Of Auber’s comic operas, the most popular were Fra Diavolo (1830), Le Cheval de bronze (The Bronze Horse, 1835), and Le Domino noir (The Black Domino, 1837). His art is characterized by a lively melodic line, well-defined rhythms, and typically French melodies. His comic operas are noted for their light and easily accessible musical material; some works, notably La Muette de Portici, have a certain romantic pathos and heroic-democratic quality.

REFERENCES

Serov, A. N. Kriticheskie stat’i, vol. 2. St. Petersburg, 1892.
Khokhlovkina, A. Zapadnoevropeiskaia opera. Moscow, 1962.
Malherbe, C. Auber: Biographie critique. Paris, 1911.

T. N. LIVANOVA