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 101-125 of 636 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-17077 10-in. 1/27/1916 Chant de guerre cosaque Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-17091 10-in. 1/28/1916 Air de la lettre Marcel Journet Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-17122 12-in. 2/5/1916 O souverain, ô juge, ô pere Enrico Caruso Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-18354 12-in. 9/11/1916 Vision fugitive Reinald Werrenrath Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-18381 10-in. 9/19/1916 Promesse de mon avenir Pasquale Amato Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-19422 12-in. 3/28/1917 Meditation Geraldine Farrar Soprano vocal solo, with harp and orchestra composer  
Victor B-19544 10-in. 4/2/1917 Melodie Hans Kindler Cello solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-20024 12-in. 6/7/1917 Maiden's wish George Falkenstein ; Maud Powell Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-20342 10-in. 7/17/1917 Chanson de la Touraine Clarence Whitehill Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-20466 10-in. 7/31/1917 Il sogno Carlos Mejía Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-21430 10-in. 1/25/1918 Pourquoi me réveiller Giovanni Martinelli Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-21962 10-in. 5/16/1918 Aubade Victor Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor B-21972 10-in. 6/10/1918 Twilight Amelita Galli-Curci Soprano vocal solo, with string orchestra and celeste composer  
Victor B-22414 10-in. 11/12/1918 Elegie Bernardo Olshansky Male vocal solo, with cello obbligato and orchestra composer  
Victor B-22420 10-in. 11/14/1918 Elegie Elizabeth Spencer Female vocal solo, with cello obbligato and orchestra composer  
Victor B-22497 10-in. 1/3/1919 Chanson de la Touraine Emilio de Gogorza Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-22687 12-in. 4/14/1919 Vision fugitive Giuseppe De Luca Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-22795 10-in. 6/3/1919 Spring song Marcella Sembrich Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-22803 12-in. 4/24/1919 Scènes pittoresques : March Victor Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor C-22804 12-in. 4/24/1919 Scènes pittoresques : Fête bohème Victor Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor C-22906 12-in. 6/6/1919 Ouvre tes yeux bleus Marcella Sembrich Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor C-24623 12-in. 10/11/1920 O casto fior Titta Ruffo Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-25122 12-in. 3/31/1921 Fête bohême Teatro alla Scala Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor B-26140 10-in. 3/2/1922 Il sogno Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-26140 10-in. 9/8/1926 Il sogno Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
(Results 101-125 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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