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 76-100 of 636 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor C-12437 12-in. 9/30/1912 Voir Griselidis Lambert Murphy Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-12538 12-in. 10/25/1912 Ouvrez-vous sur mon front, portes du paradise! Charles Dalmorès Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-12544 10-in. 10/28/1912 Je t'aime Charles Dalmorès Tenor vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-12563 10-in. 11/4/1912 Obéissons quand leur voix appelle Frances Alda Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-12750 12-in. 12/30/1912 On l'appelle Manon Enrico Caruso ; Geraldine Farrar Vocal duet (soprano and tenor), with orchestra composer  
Victor B-12764 10-in. 1/3/1913 Il sogno John McCormack Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-13005 12-in. 3/20/1913 Elegie Enrico Caruso Tenor vocal solo, with piano and violin obbligato composer  
Victor C-13050 12-in. 4/1/1913 L'oiseau bleu Marcella Sembrich Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-13186 12-in. 4/23/1913 Meditation Mischa Elman Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-13345 12-in. 5/21/1913 Sous les tilleuls Victor Herbert's Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor C-13365 12-in. 5/28/1913 Meditation Victor Herbert's Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor C-13372 12-in. 6/2/1913 Meditation Maximilian Pilzer Violin solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-13606 12-in. 7/18/1913 Voilà donc la terrible cité Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-14171 12-in. 12/10/1913 Thais : Meditation Vessella's Italian Band Band composer  
Victor B-14267 10-in. 1/5/1914 Aime fanciullo ancora Titta Ruffo Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-14268 10-in. 1/5/1914 Voila donc, la terrible cité Titta Ruffo Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-14741 10-in. 4/22/1914 Ouvre tes yeux bleus Frances Alda Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-14995 12-in. 6/24/1914 Twilight Maud Powell Violin solo, with harp and piano composer  
Victor B-15004 10-in. 6/24/1914 Good-night Margaret Romaine Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-15051 12-in. 7/10/1914 Méditation réligieuse Maud Powell Violin solo, with orchestra and harp composer  
Victor C-15055 12-in. 7/10/1914 Ave Maria Florence Hinkle Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-15597 12-in. 1/14/1915 The Angelus Victor Concert Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor B-15731 10-in. 2/24/1915 Twilight Venetian Trio (Victor Records ensemble) Instrumental trio composer  
Victor B-15831 10-in. 3/25/1915 Good night Florentine Quartet Instrumental quartet, with celeste (takes 1-3); with bells (takes 4-6) composer  
Victor B-16080 10-in. 6/7/1915 Crepuscule Alma Gluck Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
(Results 76-100 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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