Louis Durey

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Jacques-Émile Blanche : Le Groupe des Six (1921). In the center the pianist Marcelle Meyer . Left (bottom to top): Germaine Tailleferre , Darius Milhaud , Arthur Honegger , Louis Durey . Georges Auric sits on the right , behind Francis Poulenc and Jean Cocteau .

Louis Durey (born May 27, 1888 in Paris , † July 3, 1979 in St. Tropez ) was a French composer .


Durey, son of a businessman, turned to music at the age of 19, with the protection of Maurice Ravel . Together with Francis Poulenc , Darius Milhaud , Arthur Honegger , Germaine Tailleferre and Georges Auric , he formed the loose association Les Six - a group of young, very different composers. Durey never stood out as strongly as his younger colleagues and soon withdrew from the group (he also refused to work on the jointly composed ballet " Le Mariés de la Tour Eiffel ") in order to devote himself to communist cultural politics. As a result, he remained largely unknown as a composer.

As early as the early 1920s he distanced himself from Jean Cocteau , who played the role of a spiritual mentor for the "Six". At the time of the German occupation he was active in the Resistance and wrote anti-fascist songs. After the Second World War he remained a strictly observant communist, composed little and lived from music reviews in a communist newspaper.

He created orchestral works, chamber music ( string quartets ), stage and film music .