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 Thaďs. 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 (Scčnes alsaciennes, 1882) to Hungary (Scčnes hongroises, 1871), and from Shakespeare (Scénes dramatiques, 1875) to Fairyland (Scčnes 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 Čve (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 Phčdre (1900). His only piano concerto was first performed in 1903 and receives occasional modern performances. Read less

Work: Werther: Pourquoi me réveiller?

Browse 101-125 of 136 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Nino Piccaluga
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89179 Release Date: 11/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Nino Piccaluga
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  • 102.
    L'amour, L'amour / Ramon Vargas, Marcello Viotti, Munich Rso
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 161464 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Ramón Vargas
    Conductor:  Marcello Viotti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 103.
    The Young Domingo
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63527 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Franklyn Whiteley,  Brian Etheridge,  Wendy Eathorne  ... 
    Conductor:  Nello Santi,  Edward Downes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
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  • 104.
    Simply The Best Night At The Opera / Algana, Bartoli, Et Al
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 26499 Release Date: 07/06/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Ramey,  Annick Massis,  Marilyn Horne,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Marc Minkowski,  Lawrence Foster,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Le Concert des Tuileries,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 105.
    Recitals - An Evening With Franco Corelli
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 2008 Release Date: 05/18/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Umberto Giordano,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli
    CD: $9.99
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  • 106.
    Bo Skovhus - Arias /Conlon, English National Opera Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60035 Release Date: 09/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Wagner,  Benjamin Britten,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Boje Skovhus
    Conductor:  James Conlon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English National Opera Orchestra
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  • 107.
    Amor - Opera's Great Love Songs
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458201 Release Date: 08/11/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Mirella Freni,  Frederica Von Stade  ... 
    Conductor:  Henry Lewis,  Zubin Mehta,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Opera Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
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  • 108.
    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  ... 
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  • 109.
    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
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  • 110.
    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  ... 
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  • 111.
    Aria - The Opera Album / Andrea Bocelli
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 462033 Release Date: 04/07/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra
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  • 112.
    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
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  • 113.
    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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  • 114.
    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,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd,  Anne Sofie von Otter  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 115.
    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
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  • 116.
    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  ... 
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  • 117.
    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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  • 118.
    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  ... 
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  • 119.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Flaviano Labň & Magda Olivero
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1105 Release Date: 04/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet,  Francesco Cilča,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Magda Olivero,  Flaviano Labň,  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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 120.
    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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  • 121.
    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
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  • 122.
    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
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  • 123.
    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
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  • 124.
    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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  • 125.
    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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