Georges Auric

As a young musician, Auric became friends with Erik Satie, he studied under D'Indy and attended the Paris Conservatory. He became a member of the group known as "Les Six" including Milhaud, Poulenc, Honegger, Tailleferre and Durey. He was a music critic for a time and of course a composer. His early works were largely in a classical vein, for concert performances, opera and ballet. His membership of Lex Six brought him into contact with Jean Cocteau (at that time a playwright) and that relationship led to writing settings of poetry and other texts as songs and musicals. When Cocteau turned to film making, it was natural that Auric would also turn to film music.

He wrote soundtracks for a large number of French films before finding work across the Channel which quickly led to his becoming the resident composer for the series of films commonly known as the "Ealing Comedies" after the studio which produced them. Since these films are widely known and fondly remembered among English speakers, the name of Auric is most closely associated with these films and this is why we have dubbed Auric "French yet very English". These films included the likes of "Passport to Pimlico", "The Lavender Hill Mob" and "The Titfield Thunderbolt" starring actors like Alistair Sim and Alec Guinness. With "Moulin Rouge", Auric had the opportunity to portray his native country in an English-language film, and also wrote the successful song for this movie "Where is your Heart".

Auric's style is very much in the classical tradition, his formal musical education being quite evident, and the orchestration frequently transparent using only a handful of instruments. He was particularly adept at spanning the entire breadth of a symphony orchestra in the space of a minutes using combinations of only 2 or 3 instruments at a time. While his comedy scores are necessarily lighter in nature like Johann Strauss or Offenbach, he also created some darker more complex scores perhaps nearer to Richard Strauss or Stravinsky in feel, such as for the horror movie Dead of Night. Auric was to become director of the Paris Opera and also chairman of SACEM the French Music Copyright Society.


Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1918 Huit poèmes, texte de Jean Cocteau 4.00 stars CD

Céline Ricci - Soprano
Daniel Lockert - Piano

1920 Prelude (Les Six) 4.00 stars CD
Andrew West - Piano
(Hyperion Recording)
1921 Adieu, New York! 4.00 stars CD
Peter Toperczer - Piano

1924 Les Faucheux 4.00 stars CD
Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrucken Kaiserslautern cond. Christoph Poppen

1926 La Pastorale 4.00 stars CD
Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrucken Kaiserslautern cond. Christoph Poppen

1927 Rondeau 4.00 stars CD
Auric Ouverture


Part of L'Eventail de Jeanne

Philharmonia Orchestra cond. Geoffrey Simon

1930 Le sang d'un poète 4.00 stars DVD-R
Soundtrack of the Jean Cocteau movie,

Orchestre FLAMENT
cond. Edouard Flament

Source: Youtube

1931 A nous la liberté 4.00 stars DVD
Auric Ouverture Comments:
Soundtrack of the René Clair movie, which inspired Chaplin to make Modern Times

1938 Ouverture 4.00 stars LP
Auric Ouverture Comments:
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antal Dorati

1938 Ouverture 4.00 stars CD
Auric Ouverture Comments:
Re-release of the recording above

London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Antal Dorati

1946 La Belle et la Bete 4.00 stars CD
Complete film score
Film based on the Cinderella story as told by Jean Cocteau

Moscow Symphony Orchestra cond. Adriano

1946 La Belle et la Bete - Generique 4.00 stars CD
Short Fragment

Moscow Symphony Orchestra cond. Adriano

1948 Les Parents terribles 4.00 stars CD
Fragment: Image musicale

Jacques Tchamkerten - Ondes Martinot
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra cond. Adriano

1949 Le Peintre et son Modèle (Ballet) 4.00 stars CD
Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg cond.Arturo Tamayo
1949 Orphée 4.00 stars CD
- Générique
- Complainte d' Eurydice (C.W. von Gluck)

Moscow Symphony Orchestra cond. Adriano

1950 Phèdre (Ballet) 4.00 stars CD
Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg cond.Arturo Tamayo
1952 Waltz from Moulin Rouge 3.50 stars LP
Auric got very rich on the little melody from the 1952 film.
Not to be mixed-up with the Spectacular Spectacular Baz Luhrmann movie.

A very popular version by Mantovani

Compilation The Film Music of George Auric 3.50 stars CD

Caesar and Cleopatra, film score Suite (1945)
The Titfield Thunderbolt, film score Suite (1952)
Dead of Night, film score Suite (1945)
Passport to Pimlico, film score Suite (1949)
The Innocents, film score Suite (1961)
The Lavender Hill Mob, film score Suite (1951)
Moulin Rouge, film score Suite (1952)
Father Brown, film score Suite (1954)
It Always Rains on Sunday, film score Suite (1947)
Hue and Cry, film score Overture (1946)

Performed by BBC Philharmonic Brass cond. Rumon Gamba

Compilation Restored Movie Soundtracks (Les Six) 3.50 stars CD
Le Sang D'Un Poète (1930)  
La Belle Et La Bête (1946)  
L'Aigle À Deux Têtes (1947)
Orphée (1949)
Le Testament D'Orphée

Original soundtracks