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 126-150 of 636 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-26870 10-in. 9/8/1922 Ouvre tes yeux bleues Geraldine Farrar Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-27749 10-in. 4/11/1923 Chanson de la Touraine Titta Ruffo Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor C-27750 12-in. 4/11/1923 Elegie Titta Ruffo Baritone vocal solo, with cello and orchestra composer  
Victor B-27750 10-in. 4/11/1923 Elegie Titta Ruffo Baritone vocal solo, with cello and orchestra composer  
Victor B-27761 10-in. 4/16/1923 L'amour est une vertu rare Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-27761 10-in. 10/29/1925 L'amour est une vertu rare Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-28465 10-in. 9/11/1923 Sevillana Amelita Galli-Curci Soprano vocal solo, with piano and orchestra composer  
Victor B-28467 10-in. 9/11/1923 Manon : Gavotte Amelita Galli-Curci Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-28621 10-in. 9/27/1923 Adieu notre petite table Lucrezia Bori Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-29225 10-in. 10/29/1925 Dis-moi que je suis belle Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor B-29225 10-in. 12/28/1923 Dis-moi que je suis belle Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with cello and orchestra composer  
Victor B-30176 10-in. 6/11/1924 Thaïs : Meditation Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-30176 10-in. 9/8/1926 Thaïs : Meditation Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-31019 10-in. 10/16/1924 Parade militaire Goldman Band Band composer  
Victor C-31849 12-in. 2/16/1925 Pleurez, pleurez mes yeux! Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with piano, volin, and orchestra composer  
Victor B-32233 10-in. 3/20/1925 Adieux de Manon Joaquina S. Trápaga de Meade Female vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor B-32405 10-in. 4/8/1925 Elegie Georgie Gifford Female vocal solo, with violin and piano composer  
Victor BVE-32827 10-in. 5/26/1925 Elegie Jane Yon Female vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor BVE-33502 10-in. 9/22/1925 Elegie Josef Rosenblatt Tenor vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor BVE-33945 10-in. 11/25/1925 Chant d'Ossian Tito Schipa Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-34255 12-in. 1/4/1926 Meditation Mary Lewis Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-34264 12-in. 1/7/1926 Angelus Charles O’Connell Pipe organ solo composer  
Victor CVE-34564 12-in. 2/15/1926 Il est doux, il est bon Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-34933 10-in. 3/4/1926 Suru Wäinö Sola Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-35074 10-in. 5/28/1926 Elegie Alfred Wallenstein Cello solo, with piano composer  
(Results 126-150 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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