Auvergne, Antoine D'

, an eminent French musician and composer, was born at Clermont in Auvergne, Oct. 4, 1713. Instead of giving any extraordinary proofs of voluntary application, or early pregnancy of genius, he merely complied with the desire of his father, who was a musician, in turning his thoughts, or rather employing his time, in that pursuit. About his eighteenth year, however, an entire change appeared to have taken place in his mind, which became suddenly seized with the most violent enthusiasm, and such was his application night and day, that he soon became a capital performer on the violin, and was in 1739 thought worthy of the honour of being admitted into his majesty’s chamber band. With no other help in composition than the works of Rameau, he composed a trio for two violins and a bass, which he presented to that celebrated author, who, flattered by such a mark of respect, offered the young composer his advice and friendship. Auvergne began to compose a number of works for the court and the opera, which were much admired. In 1766, having the direction of the spiritual concert entrusted to him, and being unable to treat with Mondonville, who asked an exorbitant price for his Motets, Auvergne, undismayed by the vast reputation which the Orpheus of Languedoc (as Mondonville was called) had acquired in that species of composition, turned his own talents to it, and with such success, that his “Te Deum,” “De Profundis,” and his “Miserere,” were considered as first-rate works. In 1753, he composed the music of the first comic opera that was exhibited in France, and thus prepared the way for that style in which Monsigny, Gretry, and Daleyrac have since so ably distinguished themselves. Auvergne was director of the opera from 1767 to 1775, and from 1785 to 1790. Although in this time he had not Studied to accumulate a fortune, he lived in very easy | circumstances until the revolution, when he lost all his places, and was thrown into a state approaching to indigence. Jn 1796, he went to Lyons, and was consoled in liis age and poverty by his sisters and his second wife, and here he died Feb. 12, 1797, justly regretted hy all who knew him. Besides the music already mentioned, he composed the following operas, “Canente,” “Enee et Lavinie,” and “Hercule mourant,” all in his younger days, but the dates not specified “Les Amours de Tempe,1752Les Fetes d’Euterpe,1758; “Polyxene,1763; “La Venitienne.” He also retouched some former operas, and composed the music of several ballets performed at Versailles and.Fontainbieau. It seems remarkable that so popular a composer, and one who had contributed so much to “gladden life” in the gay metropolis of France, should have been left to end his days in obscurity and poverty. 1