Georges Auric


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Auric, Georges

 

Born Feb. 15, 1899, in Lodève, Languedoc. French composer. Member of the Institut de France (1962).

Auric first studied at the Paris Conservatory and then at the Schola Cantorum under V. d’Indy. In 1914, at the age of 15, he made his debut as a composer when his art songs were performed in concerts of the National Music Society. In the 1920’s he was a member of the group known as Les Six. During these years, he was associated with the Diaghilev Ballets Russes, for which he composed the ballets The Sailors (1925) and Pastorale (1926), as well as other ballets. In 1935 he joined the administration of the National Music Federation and participated in the antifascist movement. He is also the composer of popular songs, including Let’s Sing, Girls (lyrics by L. Moussinac), as well as of deeply emotional works, such as Quatre Chants de la France malheureuse (text by L. Aragon, J. Supervielle, and P. Eluard, 1947) and of a cycle of six songs based on poems by P. Eluard. His other works include the ballets The Artist and the Model (1949), Phaedra (1950), and The Room (1955); music for dramatic theater and for cinema, including the film score for A Nous La Liberté (1932); and instrumental chamber works and vocal works.

REFERENCE

Shneerson, G. Frantsuzskaia muzyka XX veka, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1970.
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Despite the potentially misleading word order of its title, it is in fact a straight-forward historical survey of the contributions of Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Arthur Honegger, Georges Auric, Louis Durey, and Germaine Tailleferre to the genre of the French art song: la melodie or le chanson.
In addition to Debussy, he numbered among his friends Georges Auric, Francis Poulenc, Ravel, Stravinsky, Ricardo Vines, and critics Romain Rolland anti Jean Marnold, as well as others from the broader world of literature and the arts: Andre Breton, Jean Cocteau, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, Andre Gide, Jacques Maritain, anti Auguste Rodin.
Finally, her implication that Stravinsky was directly behind Milhaud's so-called neoclassicism of the early to mid-1920s touches on a critical issue; work still needs to be done to disentangle the complex parallels and distinctions in aesthetic and style between Milhaud, Poulenc, and Georges Auric on the one hand, and Stravinsky on the other.
Much less has been written about Georges Auric, Louis Durey, and Germaine Tailleferre, and performances of their music have never been plentiful.