Jules Massenet

Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet (French pronunciation: ​[ʒyl emil fʁedeʁik masnɛ]; 12 May 1842 – 13 August 1912) was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most frequently staged are Manon (1884) and Werther (1892). He also composed oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, songs and other music.

While still a schoolboy, Massenet was admitted to France's principal music college, the Paris Conservatoire. There he studied under Ambroise Thomas, whom he greatly admired. After winning the country's top musical prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1863, he composed prolifically in many genres, but quickly became best known for his operas. Between 1867 and his death forty-five years later he wrote more than forty stage works in a wide variety of styles, from opéra-comique to grand-scale depictions of classical myths, romantic comedies, lyric dramas, as well as oratorios, cantatas and ballets. Massenet had a good sense of the theatre and of what would succeed with the Parisian public. Despite some miscalculations, he produced a series of successes that made him the leading composer of opera in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Like many prominent French composers of the period, Massenet became a professor at the Conservatoire. He taught composition there from 1878 until 1896, when he resigned after the death of the director, Ambroise Thomas. Among his students were Gustave Charpentier, Ernest Chausson, Reynaldo Hahn and Gabriel Pierné.

By the time of his death, Massenet was regarded by many critics as old-fashioned and unadventurous although his two best-known operas remained popular in France and abroad. After a few decades of neglect, his works began to be favourably reassessed during the mid-20th century, and many of them have since been staged and recorded. Although critics do not rank him among the handful of outstanding operatic geniuses such as Mozart, Verdi and Wagner, his operas are now widely accepted as well-crafted and intelligent products of the Belle Époque.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 12, 1842 (Saint-Étienne), Died August 13, 1912 (Paris)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1901 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 526 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1397 10-in. 5/20/1902 Elégie Monsieur Fernand Baritone vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1397 7-in. 5/20/1902 Elégie Monsieur Fernand Baritone vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1401 10-in. 5/20/1902 A Colombine Monsieur Fernand Baritone vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1401 7-in. 5/20/1902 A Colombine Monsieur Fernand Baritone vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1403 10-in. 5/21/1902 Promesse de mon avenir Monsieur Fernand Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1403 7-in. 5/21/1902 Le roi d Lahore : Arioso Monsieur Fernand Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]3444 10-in. 6/7/1901 Fête bohème Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor C-330 12-in. 8/21/1903 March from Scènes pittoresques Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-330 10-in. 8/21/1903 March from Scènes pittoresques Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor A-330 7-in. 8/21/1903 March from Scènes pittoresques Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor C-331 12-in. 8/21/1903 Angelus Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-331 10-in. 8/21/1903 L'Angelus Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor A-331 7-in. 8/21/1903 L'Angelus Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor C-332 12-in. 8/21/1903 Fête bohème Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-332 10-in. 8/21/1903 Fête bohème Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor A-332 7-in. 8/21/1903 Fête bohème Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-366 10-in. 8/28/1903 Phédre overture Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-449 10-in. 9/24/1903 Vision fugitive Sig. Carlos Francisco Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-1001 10-in. 2/1/1904 Chiudo gli occhi Enrico Caruso Tenor vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-1533 12-in. 6/29/1904 Promesse de mon avenir Sig. Carlos Francisco Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-1533 10-in. 6/29/1904 Promesse de mon avenir Sig. Carlos Francisco Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-2180 10-in. 1/30/1905 Élégie Florence Hayward Female vocal solo, with violin composer  
Victor B-2320 10-in. 2/20/1905 Si tu veux, mignonne Pol Plançon Bass vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-2358 10-in. 3/2/1905 O casto fior Antonio Scotti Baritone vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-2402 12-in. 3/16/1905 Élégie Emma Eames Soprano vocal solo, with violin and piano composer  
(Results 1-25 of 526 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Massenet, Jules," accessed October 2, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103068.

Massenet, Jules. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 2, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103068.

"Massenet, Jules." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 2 October 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103068

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