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AUBER, Daniel-François-Esprit (1782-1871)

Grandson of one of the king’s painters, son of a royal huntsman who became a publisher and print dealer, Auber had a cultured, affluent upbringing. Homme de salon, singer, violinist, cellist and, above all, pianist, Auber soon met the cream of the artistic world, including Baillot, Rode, Kreutzer and Cherubini (who was his teacher for a time, between 1808 and 1811). Despite this solid education, he was not destined for a career in music but to take over the family business. This plan was only abandoned in 1819, on the death of his father. Now bankrupt, Auber made the decision to take up a career that he had not seriously considered before, despite several noteworthy instrumental pieces and a stage debut in 1805 (Julie ou L’Erreur d’un moment). His first real success, Le Maçon (1825), was not long in coming. Numerous works followed, by turns light or serious, although all were underpinned by the same dramatic considerations. Among the fifty or so pieces left by the composer, Fra Diavolo, Le Cheval de bronze, Le Domino noir, Haydée and Manon Lescaut are all worthy of mention. As for La Muette de Portici (1828), this was one of the founding works of grand opera, along with William Tell by Rossini (1829) and Robert le Diable by Meyerbeer (1831). The composer of a sophisticated, strong and accessible body of work, a member of the Institut (1829) and director of the Paris Conservatoire (1842-1871), Auber was undoubtedly – despite an education outside formal academic channels –, one of the most important figures in the French musical landscape of the 19th century.

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  • Auber (monument commémoratif)
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    Works - 31
  • Actéon (Scribe / Auber)
  • Ambassadrice, L' (Scribe & Saint-Georges / Auber)
  • Barcarolle ou L'Amour de la musique, La (Scribe / Auber)
  • Bergère châtelaine, La (Planard / Auber)
  • Cheval de bronze, Le (Scribe / Auber)
  • Concert à la cour ou La Débutante, Le (Mélesville & Scribe / Auber)
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    Themes - 2
  • Institution – Académie des beaux-arts (Institut)
  • Opera – Opera in France in the nineteenth century
  • Symposia - 1
  • Le chant français (2013)
  • Study - 1
  • Candoni, Jean-François – Richard Wagner et le Grand Opéra français
  • Documents - 4
  • Cinti-Damoreau, Laure – « Préface » à la Méthode de chant composée pour ses classes du Conservatoire (1849)
  • Lettre d’Antoine-Louis Clapisson à un destinataire inconnu (sans date)
  • Lettre du comité central de l’Association des artistes musiciens à M. Cressonnois (24 mai 1865)
  • Mot d’Auber à Antoine-Louis Clapisson (sans année)