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 151-175 of 636 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-35434 10-in. 4/28/1926 Je marche sur tous les chemins Mary Lewis Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-35435 10-in. 4/28/1926 Manon : Gavotte Mary Lewis Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-35469 12-in. 5/19/1926 Elégie Rosa Ponselle Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-35564 12-in. 7/6/1926 The dream Robert R. Gormley, Jr. Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor CVE-37383 12-in. 1/31/1927 Meditation Charles Raymond Cronham Organ solo composer  
Victor CVE-37438 12-in. 2/15/1927 Méditation Lou Raderman Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor CVE-38334 12-in. 4/7/1927 Don Quichotte : Finale Fyodor Ivanovich Chaliapin Bass vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-38335 12-in. 4/7/1927 Don Quichotte : Finale Fyodor Ivanovich Chaliapin Bass vocal solo, with female vocals and orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-38410 10-in. 3/28/1927 Pourquoi me réveiller Charles Premmac Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor CVE-38512 12-in. 6/10/1927 Angelus Edward P. Kimball Pipe organ solo composer  
Victor BVE-38616 10-in. 5/20/1927 Méditation Wendell Clark Glover Organ solo composer  
Victor BVE-38621 10-in. 5/22/1927 Melodie Wendell Clark Glover Organ solo composer  
Victor CVE-39126 12-in. 8/29/1927 O casto fior del mio sospir Wadsworth Provandie Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor BVE-39436 10-in. 7/5/1927 Meditation Rae Eleanor Ball Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor BVE-41723 10-in. 1/26/1928 Meditation Bernardo De Pace ; Nicola De Pace Mandolin and guitar duet composer  
Victor PCVE-42012 12-in. 2/21/1928 Phedre overture Alfred Hertz ; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor PCVE-42013 12-in. 2/21/1928 Phedre overture Alfred Hertz ; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor PBVE-42033 10-in. 2/27/1928 Le Cid : Ballet Alfred Hertz ; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor PBVE-42034 10-in. 2/28/1928 Le Cid : Ballet Alfred Hertz ; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor PBVE-42035 10-in. 2/28/1928 Le Cid : Ballet Alfred Hertz ; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor PBVE-42036 10-in. 2/28/1928 Le Cid : Ballet Alfred Hertz ; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor PBVE-42037 10-in. 2/28/1928 Le Cid : Ballet Alfred Hertz ; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor PBVE-42038 10-in. 2/28/1928 Le Cid : Ballet Alfred Hertz ; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor PBVE-42125 10-in. 3/27/1928 Le reve de Des Grieux Antoine De Vally Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor PCVE-42128 12-in. 3/27/1928 Adieu donc vains objets Antoine De Vally Male vocal solo, with piano composer  
(Results 151-175 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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