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 51-75 of 636 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-7022 10-in. 4/29/1909 Va! Laisse couler mes larmes Jeanne Gerville-Réache Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-7098 12-in. 5/19/1909 Intermezzo Maud Powell Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-8540 12-in. 1/11/1910 Air de Phanuel Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-8789 12-in. 4/4/1910 O liberté, m'amie David Devriès Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-8825 10-in. 4/6/1910 Le reve de des Grieux David Devriès Tenor vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-8829 12-in. 4/11/1910 Herodiade : Grand selection Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor B-8887 10-in. 4/25/1910 Oh! Si les fleurs avaient des yeux Frances Alda Soprano vocal solo, with piano (take 1); with orchestra (take 2) composer  
Victor C-8944 12-in. 5/11/1910 Thaïs : Intermezzo Fritz Kreisler Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor CVE-8944 12-in. 2/2/1928 Méditation Fritz Kreisler Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-9067 12-in. 6/8/1910 Scènes Napolitaine Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor C-9075 12-in. 6/9/1910 Andalouse Arthur Pryor's Band Band composer  
Victor C-9166 12-in. 7/13/1910 Meditation Howard Rattay Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-9370 12-in. 8/24/1910 Sevillana Nellie Melba Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-9695 12-in. 12/8/1910 O Souverain Riccardo Martin Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-9844 10-in. 1/24/1911 Ah, non mi ridestar Alberto Amadi Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-10563 10-in. 6/21/1911 Il sogno 'Chiudo gli occhi' Alberto Amadi Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-11189 10-in. 11/6/1911 Sonnet matinal Edmond Clément Tenor vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-11191 12-in. 11/6/1911 Le reve Edmond Clément Tenor vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor CC-11393 12-in. 12/18/1911 Ah! fuyez douce image! Edmond Clément Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-11394 10-in. 12/18/1911 Lied d'Ossian Edmond Clément Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-11395 10-in. 12/18/1911 Un autre est son époux! Edmond Clément Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-11422 12-in. 12/27/1911 Ah! fuyez, douce image Enrico Caruso Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-11603 10-in. 2/19/1912 Élégie Alma Gluck Soprano vocal solo, with violin obbligato and piano composer  
Victor C-11798 12-in. 3/27/1912 Ah, dispar vision Alberto Amadi Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-11831 12-in. 4/5/1912 O souverain, O juge John McCormack Tenor vocal solo, with harp and orchestra composer  
(Results 51-75 of 636 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Massenet, Jules," accessed April 21, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103068.

Massenet, Jules. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 21, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103068.

"Massenet, Jules." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 21 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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