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Jules Massenet

Biography

Born: May 12, 1842; France   Died: Aug 13, 1912; France   Period: Romantic
Today Jules Massenet is best known for the operas Manon and Werther and the solo violin Méditation, from Thaïs. During his lifetime, however, Massenet was one of the most prolific and celebrated operatic composers on earth. The public anxiously awaited his output, and Massenet became both wealthy and famous practicing his craft. His legacy endures because of his ability to create music which portrays the intimacy of human relationships and the Read more emotions and conflicts that arise from them. His gift for melody is reflected in a variety of arias that are among the most beautiful in the French operatic repertoire. He was also a brilliant orchestrator, a skill which allowed him to capture the moods and colors of a wide variety of places and eras. In addition to opera, Massenet composed songs, oratorios, ballets and orchestral works, as well as chamber music and works for solo piano.
Massenet was born in Montaud, France, to the family of a struggling metal worker. At the tender age of 10, he was admitted to the Paris Conservatory, where he studied with famed operatic composer Ambroise Thomas. In 1863, Massenet won the Prix de Rome, a prize which allowed him to travel and study in Italy. There the young man experienced the sounds and textures of the region and began to compose in earnest. While in Italy, Massenet met Liszt, who introduced him to his future wife, Mademoiselle Sainte-Marie.
Massenet's first opera, a one-act entitled La Grand' Tante (The Great Aunt), was produced (with only moderate success) at the Opéra-Comique in 1867. In 1877 Massenet's exotic opera Le Roi de Lahore (The King of Lahore) had a highly successful premiere at the Paris Opera, marking the beginning of his ascendancy as France's most prolific and celebrated operatic composer.
In 1878, his former teacher, Thomas, invited him to become a professor at the Paris Conservatory. Massenet achieved considerable success as a teacher, influencing an entire generation of French composers, including Gustav Charpentier and the song composer Reynaldo Hahn.
A highly prolific composer, Massenet worked continuously throughout his life, completing a great deal of music in addition to his 25 published operas. His approximately 250 songs often reflect the same melodic ingenuity and expressiveness that define his operatic works. Massenet composed several song cycles, including Poéme d'Avril (April Poem), which is often identified as the first French song cycle. Among the most famous of his solo songs are "Ouvre tes yeux bleus" (Open your blue eyes) and "Si tu veux, Mignonne" (If you wish it, sweetheart). The composer's First Orchestral Suite (originally entitled Symphony in F) premiered in 1867. This was the first of seven suites by Massenet, with programmatic subjects ranging from Alsace (Scènes alsaciennes, 1882) to Hungary (Scènes hongroises, 1871), and from Shakespeare (Scénes dramatiques, 1875) to Fairyland (Scènes de féerie, 1881). The most famous of his orchestral suites, Scénes pittoresques (Picturesque Scenes), was first performed in Paris during March of 1874. Massenet also composed several ballets, including La Cigale, Espada, and Les Rosati. In addition to Marie-Magdeleine, his oratorios include Ève (1875) and La Terre promise (The promised land, 1900). He wrote a considerable amount of incidental music for plays, including Sardou's Le Crocodile (1886) and Racine's Phèdre (1900). His only piano concerto was first performed in 1903 and receives occasional modern performances. Read less
Massenet: Ballet Music / Gallois, Barcelona
Release Date: 11/19/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573123   Number of Discs: 1
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Massenet: Orchestral Suites 4-7 / Ossonce, New Zealand So
Release Date: 07/18/1995   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553125   Number of Discs: 1
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Massenet: Manon / Netrebko, Villazon, Barenboim [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 11/18/2008   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001208959   Number of Discs: 1
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Massenet: Manon / Zeani, Kraus, Rapalo, Teatro di San Carlo Napoli, 1964
Release Date: 11/25/2014   Label: Hardy Classics  
Catalog: 6018   Number of Discs: 1
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Massenet: Esclarmonde, Cendrillon / Jean, Hong Kong Po
Release Date: 08/20/2002   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555986   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Werther: Pourquoi me réveiller?

Browse 101-125 of 129 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Nessun Dorma - 20 Great Tenor Arias / Pavarotti, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458215 Release Date: 06/09/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Del Monaco,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Jussi Björling,  Giuseppe Di Stefano  ... 
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Zubin Mehta,  Alberto Erede,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 102.
    Prima Voce - Battistini
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7831 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jean Nougues  ... 
    Performer:  Mattia Battistini,  Carlo Sabajno,  Maria Mokrzycka,  Emilia Corsi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
    CD: $11.99
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  • 103.
    Prima Voce - Tenors 1904-1937 / Caruso, Schipa, Mccormack
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1794 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  George Frideric Handel,  Victor Herbert,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Tito Schipa,  John McCormack,  Mario Sammarco,  Lucrezia Bori  ... 
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 104.
    Aria - The Opera Album / Andrea Bocelli
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462033 Release Date: 04/07/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 105.
    Mattia Battistini - Il Re Dei Baritoni
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89304 Release Date: 03/18/1997   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Luigi Denza,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Augusto Rotoli  ... 
    Performer:  Mattia Battistini,  Carlo Sabajno,  Elvira Barbieri,  Vincenzo Bettoni  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 106.
    Famous Tenors Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89229 Release Date: 01/21/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Helge Rosvaenge,  Leo Slezak,  Jussi Björling,  Ferruccio Tagliavini  ... 
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 107.
    James Levine's 25th Anniversary - Metropolitan Opera Gala
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 449177 Release Date: 10/15/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Strauss,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry,  Karita Mattila,  Håkan Hagegård,  Anne Sofie von Otter  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Christy Solary
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1090 Release Date: 07/09/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Galdieri,,  Bracchi,,  Victor Hollaender  ... 
    Performer:  Christy Solari
    CD: $17.99
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  • 109.
    Giovanni Martinelli - The Acoustic Recordings 1913-1923
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89213 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  José Mardones,  Giuseppe de Luca,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Marcel Journet  ... 
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 110.
    Alfred Piccaver - The Complete Electric Recordings 1928-1930
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89217 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Henry Ernest Geehl,  Amy Woodforde Finden,  Ethelbert Nevin  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Piccaver,  Julius Prüwer,  Theodor Scheidl,  Margit Angerer
    Conductor:  Manfred Gurlitt,  Julius Prüwer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 111.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Alessandro Bonci
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1062 Release Date: 04/18/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Alessandro Bonci,  Ferruccio Corradetti,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Maria Pia Pagliarini  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 112.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Flaviano Labò & Magda Olivero
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1105 Release Date: 04/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet,  Francesco Cilèa,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Magda Olivero,  Flaviano Labò,  Carlo Meliciani,  Gian Piero Mastromei  ... 
    Conductor:  Jacques Bazire,  Oliviero de Fabritiis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Marseille Opera Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Prima Voce - Giacomo Lauri-volpi
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7845 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Giacomo Lauri-Volpi,  Luigi Borgonovo
    Conductor:  Mario Cordone,  Franco Ghione,  Rosario Bourdon,  Giulio Setti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    CD: $11.99
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  • 114.
    Pavarotti In Central Park / Magiera, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 444450 Release Date: 03/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cesare Andrea Bixio,  Giacomo Puccini,  Eduardo Di Capua,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Andrea Griminelli
    Conductor:  Leone Magiera
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic members,  Harlem Boys Choir
    CD: $16.99
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  • 115.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Alfred Piccaver
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89060 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Alfred Piccaver
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 116.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Antonio Cortis
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89043 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Pietro Mascagni,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Antonio Cortis,  Anna Rozsa
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 117.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Giuseppe Lugo
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89034 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Cesare Andrea Bixio,  Giacomo Puccini,  Eduardo Di Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Lugo
    Conductor:  Florian Weiss,  Dino Olivieri,  Albert Wolff,  Elie Cohen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 118.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Julius Patzak
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89075 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Julius Patzak,  Hedwig Von Debicka
    Conductor:  Leo Blech,  Manfred Gurlitt,  Alois Melichar,  Wolfgang Martin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 119.
    Operntheater - Berühmte Tenöre Der 30er Jahre
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90953 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Paul von Klenau,  Richard Wagner,  Viktor Nessler  ... 
    Performer:  Ivan Kozlovsky,  Marcel Wittrisch,  Franz Völker,  Richard Tauber  ... 
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  • 120.
    Mario Del Monaco - Opera Arias
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1039 Release Date: 09/13/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Del Monaco
    Conductor:  Argeo Quadri,  Tomaso Benintende-Neglia
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $25.98
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  • 121.
    Three Tenors In Concert 1994 / Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti
    Label: Atlantic   Catalog: 82614 Release Date: 08/30/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Helen Guy,  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Luciano Pavarotti,  José Carreras
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Music Center Opera Chorus
    CD: $13.99
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  • 122.
    Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy - My Favorite Showstoppers
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443821 Release Date: 08/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Leontyne Price,  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Sir Georg Solti,  Richard Bonynge,  Oliviero de Fabritiis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra London,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 123.
    Italian & French Opera Arias / Peter Dvorsky, Lenard
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 550343 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduardo Di Capua,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Agustín Lara,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Dvorsky
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bratislava Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 124.
    Prima Voce - Antonio Cortis
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7850 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Cortis,  Simeon José Serrano,  Joaquin Gaztambide,  Amadeo Vives  ... 
    Performer:  Antonio Cortis
    Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 125.
    Prima Voce - Martinelli Vol 2 1913-1923
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7826 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Blanc,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe de Luca,  José Mardones,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Marcel Journet
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