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Massenet, Jules (Émile Frédéric)

Massenet, Jules (Émile Frédéric) (b Montaud, St Étienne, 1842; d Paris, 1912). Fr. composer. Won Grand Prix de Rome and spent 3 years in Rome; returned to Paris 1866, his first (1-act) opera being prod. at Opéra-Comique 1867. His oratorios est. his name until the opera Hérodiade (a version of the Salome story) in 1881, but his greatest success came in 1884 with Manon. He was prof. of advanced comp. at Paris Cons. 1878–96. Among his later successes was Don Quichotte, prod. Monte Carlo 1910, with Chaliapin in the title-role. Massenet used Wagner's leitmotiv device, but translated it into his melodious and agreeable style, a style considered by some to be saccharine but which has won admiration in the later 20th cent. for its stylishness, craftsmanship, sense of th., and understanding of the human v. Prin. works:OPERAS: La Grand' Tante (1867); Don César de Bazan (1872); Le Roi de Lahore (1875–6); Hérodiade (1878–81, rev. 1883); Manon (1882–3, rev. 1884); Le Cid (1884–5); Werther (1885–7); Esclarmonde (1888); Le Mage (1889–90); Amadis (1889–90, 1910–11); Thaïs (1892–3, rev. 1897); Le Portrait de Manon (1893); La Navarraise (1893); Grisélidis (1894, rev. 1898); Cendrillon (1895); Sapho (1896, rev. 1909); Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (1900); Roma (1902, 1909); Chérubin (1902–3); Ariane (1904–5); Thérèse (1905–6); Bacchus (1907–8); Don Quichotte (1908–9); Panurge (1911); Cléopâtre (1911–12).BALLETS: Le Carillon (1892); Cigale (1904); Espada (1908).ORATORIOS & CANTATAS: David Rizzio (1863); Marie-Magdeleine (1873, rev. as opera 1906); Eve (1875); Narcisse (1877); La Vierge (1880); Biblis (1886); La Terre Promise (1900).ORCH.: Scènes hongroises (1871); Scènes pittoresques (1874); Scènes napolitaines (1876); Scènes alsaciennes (1881); Marche solennelle (1897); Fantaisie, vc. and orch. (1897); pf. conc. (1903).Also about 200 songs, some with orch.

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Massenet, Jules

Jules Massenet (zhül mäsənā´), 1842–1912, French composer. He studied at the Paris Conservatory, where he taught from 1878 to 1896. In addition to many songs, several oratorios, and a number of orchestral suites, he composed more than 20 operas. His most famous work is Manon (1884), which exemplifies his sensuous style and contains accompanied spoken dialogue instead of traditional recitative. His other operas are Werther (1892), Thaïs (1894), and Le Jongleur de Notre Dame (1902).

See his memoirs (tr. 1919, repr. 1970); study by J. Harding (1970).

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Massenet, Jules Émile-Frédéric

Massenet, Jules Émile-Frédéric (1842–1912) French Romantic composer who dominated 19th-century French lyric opera. He composed many operas, including Le Cid (1885), Werther (1892). and Thérèse (1909). His two masterpieces are considered to be Manon (1884) and Thaïs (1894).

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