André Charles Prosper Messager (French: [mɛsaʒe]; 30 December 1853 – 24 February 1929) was a French composer, organist, pianist and conductor. His compositions include eight ballets and thirty opéras comiques, opérettes and other stage works, among which his ballet Les Deux Pigeons (1886) and opéra comique Véronique (1898) have had lasting success; Les P'tites Michu (1897) and Monsieur Beaucaire (1919) were also popular internationally.
Messager took up the piano as a small child and later studied composition with, among others, Camille Saint-Saëns and Gabriel Fauré. He became a major figure in the musical life of Paris and later London, both as a conductor and a composer. Many of his Parisian works were also produced in the West End and some on Broadway; the most successful had long runs and numerous international revivals. He wrote two operatic works in English, and his later output included musical comedies for Sacha Guitry and Yvonne Printemps.
As a conductor, Messager held prominent positions in Paris and London, at the head of the Opéra-Comique, the Paris Opéra, the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Although as a composer he is known chiefly for his light works, as a conductor he presented a wide range of operas, from Mozart to Richard Strauss, and he acquired a reputation as a conductor of Wagner. In Paris he conducted the world premieres of Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, Massenet's Grisélidis and Charpentier's Louise. At Covent Garden, he gave the British premieres of operas by Saint-Saëns and Massenet.
Messager's music became known for its melodic and orchestral invention, musical craftsmanship, and characteristically French elegance and grace. Although most of his works have been infrequently revived, historians of music consider him the last major figure in French opéra comique and opérette.
Birth and Death Data: Born December 30th, 1853 (Montluçon), Died February 24th, 1929 (Paris)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1902 - 1929
Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, director, conductor
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 58 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||C-2939||12-in.||12/11/1905||The letter song||Alan Turner||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-3256||12-in.||4/6/1906||The swing song||Harry Macdonough ; Corinne Morgan||Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-9798||10-in.||1/13/1911||Long ago in Alcalá||Henry Allan Price||Male vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||B-10485||10-in.||6/2/1911||Swing song||Lucy Isabelle Marsh ; Reinald Werrenrath||Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-11309||12-in.||11/27/1911||The swing song||Emma Eames ; Emilio de Gogorza||Vocal duet (soprano and baritone), with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-11311||12-in.||11/27/1911||Trot here and there||Emma Eames ; Emilio de Gogorza||Vocal duet (soprano and baritone), with piano||composer|
|Victor||C-15117||12-in.||8/4/1914||Les deux pigeons : Scene et danse, part 2||Conway's Band||Band||composer|
|Victor||B-17699||10-in.||5/17/1916||Long ago in Alcalá||John Barnes Wells||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-19118||12-in.||1/23/1917||Aux morts pour la patrie||Marcel Journet||Bass vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-22460||12-in.||12/11/1918||Barcarolle||Fernand Pollain||Cello solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||B-23756||10-in.||3/4/1920||Honour and love||John McCormack||Tenor vocal solo, with violin, celeste, and orchestra||composer|
|Victor||BVE-56190||10-in.||10/16/1929||The grey house||John McCormack||Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||[Trial 1918-11-26-02]||Not documented||11/26/1918||Barcarole||Fernand Pollain||Cello solo, with piano||composer|
|Columbia||49527||12-in.||10/17/1918||L'Arlesienne||André Messager ; Paris Conservatory Symphony Orchestra||Orchestra||conductor|
|Columbia||49528||12-in.||10/17/1918||Marche bohemienne||André Messager ; Paris Conservatory Symphony Orchestra||Orchestra||conductor, composer|
|Columbia||49529||12-in.||10/18/1918||Impressions of Italy : Serenade||André Messager ; Paris Conservatory Symphony Orchestra||Orchestra||director|
|Columbia||49530||12-in.||10/18/1918||Le rouet d'Omphale||André Messager ; Paris Conservatory Symphony Orchestra||Orchestra||director|
|Columbia||49532||12-in.||10/19/1918||Capriccio espagnol||André Messager ; Paris Conservatory Symphony Orchestra||Orchestra||director|
|Columbia||49533||12-in.||10/19/1918||Adagietto||Paris Conservatory Symphony Orchestra||Orchestra||conductor|
|Columbia||49534||12-in.||10/21/1918||The deluge : Prelude||André Messager ; Paris Conservatory Symphony Orchestra||Orchestra, with violin solo||director|
|Columbia||49535||12-in.||10/21/1918||Gypsy dance||Paris Conservatory Symphony Orchestra||Orchestra||conductor, composer|
|Columbia||49536||12-in.||10/23/1918||Cortege de Bacchus||French Symphony Orchestra ; André Messager||Orchestra||director|
|Columbia||49537||12-in.||10/22/1918||Danse bacchanale||French Symphony Orchestra ; André Messager||Orchestra||director|
|Columbia||49538||12-in.||10/22/1918||Carillon||André Messager ; Paris Conservatory Symphony Orchestra||Orchestra||conductor|
|Columbia||49539||12-in.||10/24/1918||Valse||André Messager ; Paris Conservatory Symphony Orchestra||Orchestra||conductor|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Messager, André," accessed August 1, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103767.
Messager, André. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 1, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103767.
"Messager, André." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 1 August 2021.
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