Composers in Focus


Georges Auric (1899-1983). Les Fâcheux, Autograph manuscript score, undated. Sergei Grigoriev Papers. b MS Thr 465 (204). Purchased with the Howard D. Rothschild Fund, 1995.

Les Fâcheux

Les Facheux was first seen in Monte Carlo, in January 1924. The music had been commissioned from George Auric, one of the circle of French composers referred to as “Les Six.”

The choreography was created by Bronislava Nijinska, whose name on the Ballets Russes programs had been abbreviated, with significant prestige, to “La Nijinska.” The costumes, décor, and curtain were designed by Georges Braque. The scenario was composed by the young Boris Kochno, Diaghilev’s secretary, who was to invent a number of ballet plots in the future, but in this instance Nijinska was dismissive of his scant experience, and reportedly she ignored most of his ideas. But Kochno had actually been representing Diaghilev’s views, so there ensued some heated discussions between Nijinska and Diaghilev.