Georges Auric: A Life in Music and Politics

Georges Auric: A Life in Music and Politics

by Colin Roust


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Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie, Moulin Rouge - the names popularly associated with film composer Georges Auric's career conjure visions of a distant and glamorous early twentieth-century Parisian art world. Auric wrote well over 100 film scores, including the soundtrack for Roman Holiday, and was notably affiliated with Les Six, a group of French composers reacting to the musical establishment of the 1920s. But Auric's life and work spanned far beyond this limited sphere. A lifelong involvement in politics - from his leftism during the Popular Front years of the 1930s to his significant role in the French Communist Party's musical resistance of the 1940s - heavily influenced his sound and aesthetic. His advocacy on behalf of his fellow musicians led him into the fight for fair copyright laws, initially in France and then worldwide. And over the course of a seven-decade-long career, Auric took on roles as diverse as music critic, opera director, and arts administrator, revealing a deep involvement in his country's musical life that makes the label of "composer" seem inadequate.

The first English-language biography of Auric, Georges Auric: A Life in Music and Politics rethinks the conventional ideas of what it means to be a composer. Drawing from an astonishing three dozen untapped archives, including the private archives of Auric's widow, author Colin Roust presents a picture of Auric that is as multifaceted as the man's career. Using Auric's life as a lens, Roust reveals the transforming role of music - and the composer - in twentieth-century society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190607777
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 05/01/2020
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 9.40(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Dr. Colin Roust is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Kansas. His research interests include twentieth-century music, film music, music history pedagogy, music and politics, and the intersection of music and the other arts in multimedia genres. He is also a co-editor of The Routledge Film Music Sourcebook and co-translator of William Ritter: Studies of Foreign Art.

Table of Contents

Table of Figures

Chapter 1: Childhood in Lod ve and Montpellier
Chapter 2: Parisian Debuts and World War I
Chapter 3: Post-War and Post-Apollinaire
Chapter 4: Boeuf sur le Toit and the Ballets Russes
Chapter 5: Withdrawing from the Parisian Music Scene
Chapter 6: The Popular Front Years and the Great Depression
Chapter 7: New Beginnings in the Post-War Years
Chapter 8: Personifying the Musical Establishment
Chapter 9: Retirement

Appendix 1: Map of Auric's Midi
Appendix 2: Georges Auric's Family Tree
Appendix 3: Map of Auric's Montpellier
Appendix 4: Map of Auric's Paris


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