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 26-50 of 636 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor C-2687 12-in. 6/28/1905 Vision fugitive Giuseppe Campanari Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-2844 12-in. 10/25/1905 Angélus Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor C-2906 12-in. 11/23/1905 Angélus Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor C-3075 12-in. 2/1/1906 Élégie Emma Eames Soprano vocal solo, with piano and cello composer  
Victor C-3247 12-in. 4/3/1906 Promesse di mon avenir Emilio de Gogorza Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-3272 12-in. 4/12/1906 The last dream of the Virgin Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-3869 10-in. 10/10/1906 Élégie Rosario Bourdon Cello solo, with string quartet composer  
Victor E-4006 8-in. 11/6/1906 Élégie Edouard Le Bel Tenor vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-4203 10-in. 1/3/1907 Pensées d'automne Mrs. Meade Female vocal solo composer  
Victor B-4491 10-in. 5/15/1907 Parade militaire Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor C-4996 12-in. 1/7/1908 Fleurissait une rose Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-4996 12-in. 10/11/1926 Légende de la sauge Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6012 12-in. 3/5/1908 Il est doux, il est bon Emma Calvé Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6020 12-in. 3/6/1908 O Magali Emma Calvé Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-6115 12-in. 4/15/1908 Vision fugitive Emilio de Gogorza Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-6115 12-in. 4/16/1928 Vision fugitive Emilio de Gogorza Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6127 12-in. 4/21/1908 Ah! fuyez, douce image Florencio Constantino Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6202 12-in. 5/18/1908 Si tu le veux Emma Eames Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-6634 10-in. 12/2/1908 Elegie Elise Stevenson Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6653 12-in. 12/8/1908 Adieu, notre petite table Geraldine Farrar Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-6654 10-in. 12/8/1908 Gavotte : Obeissons quand leur voix appelle Geraldine Farrar Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6691 12-in. 12/29/1908 Pensée d'automne Armand Crabbé Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6864 12-in. 3/6/1909 Promesse de mon avenir Emilio de Gogorza Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-6968 12-in. 4/7/1909 Promesse di mon avenir (Oh promise of a joy divine) Emilio de Gogorza Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-6968 12-in. 4/16/1928 Promesse de mon avenir Emilio de Gogorza Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
(Results 26-50 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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