Georges Auric: A Life in Music and Politics

Georges Auric: A Life in Music and Politics

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Author/Contributor(s): Roust, Colin
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Date: 05/01/2020
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: NEW

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.