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 176-200 of 636 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor CVE-49498 12-in. 5/21/1929 Thaïs : Meditation Mischa Elman Violin solo, with piano composer  
Victor BVE-49966 10-in. 2/18/1929 Chanson de Touraine Titta Ruffo Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-50911 12-in. 3/4/1929 Manon Hope Hampton Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor BVE-51874 10-in. 7/24/1929 Meditation from Thaïs Jesse Crawford Pipe organ solo composer  
Victor CVE-62386 12-in. 8/14/1930 Under the linden trees Rosario Bourdon ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor PBS-68697 10-in. 1/14/1934 Vision fugitive Nathaniel Finston ; John Charles Thomas Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BRC-69664 10-in. 5/28/1931 Manon : Gavotte Carlotta King Female vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor BVE-70585 10-in. 2/17/1932 Thaïs : Meditation The Harding Sisters Piano and pipe organ duet composer  
Victor CS-75793 12-in. 4/12/1933 Elegie Green Brothers Instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor MS-75875 16-in. 6/22/1933 Beauty that endures. Program 10 Jean Paul King ; Charles Sears Radio transcription disc : Orchestra, with male vocal solo and recitation composer  
Victor BS-76118 10-in. 5/11/1933 Le rêve (The dream) Richard Crooks Tenor vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor CS-76119 12-in. 5/11/1933 Le reve de Des Grieux Richard Crooks Tenor vocal solo, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor PBS-79414 10-in. 10/17/1934 Thaïs meditation Arthur Jensen Violin solo composer  
Victor CS-81310 12-in. 1/25/1934 Elegie Green Brothers Vibraphone ("Deagan vibra-harp") and chimes duet composer  
Victor BS-82168 10-in. 4/5/1934 Elegie Juan Arvizu Male vocal solo, with organ composer  
Victor MBS-90669 10-in. March 1936 or earlier Il sogno Orquesta RCA Victor Mexicana ; Alfonso Ortiz Tirado ; Eduardo Vigil y Robles Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor CVE-92827 12-in. 7/2/1935 Meditation Boston Pops Orchestra ; Arthur Fiedler ; Robert Gundersen Orchestra composer  
Victor BS-92854 10-in. 9/26/1935 Duet de l'oasis Donal G. Brien ; Louise Lerch Female-male vocal duet, with piano composer  
Victor PBS-97312 10-in. 2/29/1936 Parlez moi d'amour Dolores Del Rio Female vocal solo composer  
Victor PC-64 12-in. 1/26/1925 Phedre overture Alfred Hertz ; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor PC-77 12-in. 2/2/1925 Phedre overture Alfred Hertz ; San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor G-2025 10-in. 5/17/1917 Élégie des Érynnyes Helène Chalot ; Alba Rosa Violin and harp duet composer  
Victor G-2408 10-in. 9/14/1917 Le dernier sommeil de la Vierge : Prelude Santé Lo Priore Violin solo, with organ composer  
Victor CS-0725 12-in. 9/22/1936 Dis-moi que je suis belle Helen Jepson ; Alexander Smallens Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor PCS-09427 12-in. 5/3/1937 Jewel Song [from Faust] Hope Hampton Dubbed recording from film : Female vocal solo composer  
(Results 176-200 of 636 records)


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

Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license


Send the Editors a message about this record.