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Auric, Georges

(February 15, 1899 - July 23, 1983)

Georges Auric was born in Lodève (region of Montpellier) in 1899. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, and at the Schola Cantorum with Vincent d’Indy, and entered into the history of music as from his twentieth year under the shield of the Groupe des Six, during the second great epoch of the Russian Ballets by Serge de Diaghilev. But as from the age of fifteen he had his melodies sung at the National Society. He is one of the most intelligent and cultivated men in musical surroundings, a true humanist. His art has modesty and objectivity; but the artist is more impetuous than he appears to be, so much so like the line of his evolution proves. During the first period, next to Francis Poulenc, he sacrifices to the impertinent aesthetic of the Groupe des Six and to that of the “Coq et l”Arlequin” by Jean Cocteau: in narrow relationship with Chabrier, Messager and Satie; a keenly comical and sharp sense; clear and crisp melodic invention, the language clear and engraved; sincere harmony, dry and luxuriant; popular inspiration and aristocratic distinction; will-power not to fall into the sublime and to have the air of not to be taken seriously; taste of the pirouette, imagine the grimace, between Couperin and Dada. In a second tendancy, he freed himself from the spirit of the Groupe des Six and let himself go to a nature, to a temperament which seems to be his own in depth. He therefore expresses with ampleness, without holding back, proclaiming an aesthetic of power, of vigour, of assertion, of certainty, of seriousness and even of greatness and tragic intensity, of which the impulse is worthy of a Strauss, for which the language is muscular like a Roussel and which the rhythmical has the refinements and violences stravinskian. Totally anticonformist in the aesthetic domain, he pursuited one of the most official careers on the marginal plan: President of the S.A.C.E.M. since 1954, then appointed Honorary President in 1979, General Administrator of the Reunion of National Lyric Theatres (1962-1968) and elected at the Institute de France (1962). Claude Rostand