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 - 1947

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 226-250 of 636 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 38562 10-in. 1/17/1913 Il sogno Alessandro Bonci Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 38640 10-in. 2/21/1913 Adieu Fély Dereyne Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 39104 10-in. 11/19/1913 Va laisse couler mes larmes Jeanne Gerville-Réache Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 39343 10-in. 4/27/1914 Ouvres tes yeux bleus Carolina White Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 45645 10-in. 5/18/1915 Heureux ceux qui vivront Isa Jeynevald-Mercier ; Xavier Mercier Vocal duet (soprano and tenor), with orchestra composer  
Columbia 46037 10-in. 9/20/1915 Pensée d'automne Torcom Bézazian Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 46485 10-in. 3/9/1916 Aubade Prince's Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 47317 10-in. 1/26/1917 Air des larmes Eva Gauthier Mezzo-soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 77261 10-in. 8/16/1917 Elégie Riccardo Stracciari Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 78702 10-in. 9/27/1919 Méditation Clyde Doerr Alto saxophone solo, with harp composer  
Columbia 79559 10-in. 12/7/1920 Ouvre tes yeux bleus Barbara Maurel Mezzo-soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 80576 10-in. 9/29/1922 Il sogno Charles Hackett Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 81624 10-in. 3/17/1924 Oh! Si les fleurs avaient des yeux Florence Macbeth Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30228 12-in. between January and June 1909 Meditation George Stehl Violin solo, with harp composer  
Columbia 30266 12-in. 5/13/1909 Visione fugitive Giuseppe Campanari Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30699 12-in. 3/21/1911 Le jongleur de Notre Dame Mary Garden Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30701 12-in. 3/21/1911 Il est doux, il est bon Mary Garden Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30706 12-in. ca. 1911 Angelus Prince's Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 30713 12-in. ca. Mar.-Apr. 1911 Je marche sur tous le chemins Lydia Lipkowska Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30714 12-in. ca. Mar.-Apr. 1911 Adieu notre petite table Lydia Lipkowska Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30759 12-in. ca. 1911 Elegie William Beck Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30839 12-in. ca. 1911 Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux Rosa Olitzka Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 30964 12-in. ca. Jan.-Oct. 1912 Il est doux, il est bon Zina Brozia Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 36386 12-in. 5/17/1912 L'amour est une vertu rare Mary Garden Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 36457 12-in. 10/8/1912 Thaïs : Selections Prince's Orchestra Orchestra composer  
(Results 226-250 of 636 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Massenet, Jules," accessed April 16, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103068.

Massenet, Jules. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 16, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103068.

"Massenet, Jules." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 16 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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