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Jules Massenet
 
 
 
 
Jules Massenet, in full Jules-Émile-Frédéric Massenet (born May 12, 1842, Montaud, near Saint-Étienne, France—died August 13, 1912, Paris), leading French opera composer, whose music is admired for its lyricism, sensuality, occasional sentimentality, and theatrical aptness.

The son of an ironmaster, Massenet entered the Paris Conservatoire at age 11, subsequently studying composition under the noted opera composer Ambroise Thomas. In 1863 he won the Prix de Rome with his cantata David Rizzio. With the production in 1867 of his opera La Grand’ Tante (The Great Aunt), he embarked on a career as a composer of operas and incidental music. His 24 operas are characterized by a graceful, thoroughly French melodic style. Manon (1884; after Antoine-François, Abbé Prévost d’Exiles) is considered by many to be his masterpiece. The opera, marked by sensuous melody and skilled personification, uses leitmotifs to identify and characterize the protagonists and their emotions. In the recitatives (dialogue) it employs the unusual device of spoken words over a light orchestral accompaniment. Also among his finest and most successful operas are Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (1902), Werther (1892; after J.W. von Goethe), and Thaïs (1894). The famous “Méditation” for violin and orchestra from Thaïs remains part of the standard violin repertory.
 



 

Several of Massenet’s operas reflect the succession of contemporary operatic fashions. Thus, Le Cid (1885) has the characteristics of French grand opera; Le Roi de Lahore (1877; The King of Lahore) reflects the Orientalism—a fascination with Asian exotica—that was also prevalent in the 19th-century European and American art market; Esclarmonde (1889) shows the influence of Richard Wagner; and La Navarraise (1894; The Woman of Navarre) is influenced by the end-of-the-century style of verismo, or realism. Also prominent among Massenet’s operas are Hérodiade (1881) and Don Quichotte (1910).

Of Massenet’s incidental music, particularly notable is that for Leconte de Lisle’s play Les Érinnyes (1873; The Furies), which contains the widely performed song “Élégie.” In 1873 he also produced his oratorio, Marie-Magdeleine, later performed as an opera. This work exemplifies the mingling of religious feeling and eroticism often found in Massenet’s music. Massenet also composed more than 200 songs, a piano concerto, and several orchestral suites.

As a teacher of composition at the Paris Conservatoire from 1878, Massenet was highly influential. His autobiography was entitled Mes Souvenirs (1912; My Recollections).

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
 
 
DON QUICHOTTE - JULES MASSENET - 2000 ( PARIS )
 
Don Quichotte - Samuel Ramey
Sancho Panza - Jean-Philippe Lafont
Dulcinée - Carmen Oprisanu
Pedro - Jaël Azzaretti
Garcias - Allison Cook
Rodriguez - Jean-Pierre Trévisani
Juan - Kevin Greenlaw

Conductor - James Conlon
Orchestra - L'Opéra National de Paris
Chorus - L'Opéra Comique de Paris

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MANON - JULES MASSENET - 2008
 
Manon - Anna Netrebko
Le Chevalier Des Grieux - Rolando Villazon
Poussette - Hanan Alatter
Javotte - Gal James
Rosette - Silvia de la Muela
Lescaut - Alfredo Daza
Le Compte des Grieux - Christof Fischesser
Guillot de Morfontaine - Rémy Corazza
De Brétigny - Arttu Kataja
L'Hôtelier - Matthias Vieweg
La Servante - Ilona Ehlert
1er Garde - Friedemann Hecht
2e Garde - Andreas Bornemann

Conductor - Daniel Barenboim
Orchestra - Staatskapelle Berlin
Chorus - Berliner Staatsoper

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Manon - Anna Netrebko & Roberto Alagna - Act 2 (Opera by Jules Massenet)
 
Anna Netrebko (Manon Lescaut) & Roberto Alagna (Le Chevalier Des Grieux) in Jules Massenet's Manon. (Act 2 beginning)
Anna Netrebko (soprano)
Roberto Alagna (tenor)
Bertrand de Billy (conductor)
Andrei Serban (stage director)
Wiener Staatsoper (2007)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Werther (Roberto Alagna, Kate Aldrich; Teatro Regio Torino, Alain Guingal, 2005)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Massenet Thaïs
 
Eva Mei, Michele Pertusi, Christine Buffle, Christophe Fel, Marcello Viotti, Tiziana Carraro, Teatro La Fenice Orchestra, Teatro La Fenice Chorus, William Joyner, Elodie Mechain, Anna Smiech & Enrico Masiero
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jules Massenet / Thais / Meditation
 
Classic FM M-Tel Radio Symphony Orchestra
13 March 2006
NDK Sofia
MAXIM VENGEROV, Violin
Conductor: Luciano Di Martino
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meditation Thais - Itzhak Perlman
 
Meditation Thais Opera Itzhak Perlman - Live at Lincoln Center September 2012
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Massenet's 'Le Cid'
 
Massenet's opera, 'Le Cid' with English subtitles.

Le Cid - Placido Domingo
Chimene - Elisabete Matos
The Infanta - Angela Turner Wilson
Don Diegue - Hao Jiang Tian
Le Comte de Gormas - William Parcher
The King of Spain - Kimm Julian

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Maria Callas - Massenet - Pleurez, mes yeux
 
De cet affreux combat... Pleurez, mes yeux! (Le Cid Acte III)
Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française
Conducted by Georges Prêtre
1961
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Massenet - Cléopâtre - Sophie Koch, Ludovic Tézier, Sandrine Piau, Benjamin Bernheim
 
Sophie Koch - Cléopâtre,
Ludovic Tézier - Marc-Antoine,
Benjamin Bernheim - Spakos,
Sandrine Piau - Octavie,
Mariangela Sicilia - Charmion,
Omar Montanari - Ennius,
Jean-Luc Ballestra - Amnhès,
Gezim Mischketa - Sévérus,
Biagio Pizzuti - L'Esclave de la Porte,
Salzburger Bachchor,
Mozarteumorchester, conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev

ACT I
In his camp in Tarsus, Marcus Antonius accepts the praise and tribute of representatives from all of Asia. A slave, Spakos, announces the arrival of Cleopatre, whom Antonius mockingly describes as a `courtesan with a crown.' When she arrives, however, he is captivated. He orders the crowd to leave the two of them alone, and the two embrace. They are interrupted by Ennius, bearing a message from the Senate: Antonius has been called back to Rome, where he will be wed to Octavia, the sister of his fellow triumvir Octavian. Instead, he agrees to return to Egypt with Cleopatra; as the act ends, the two of them sail off together in her barge.

ACT II
Antonius has returned to Rome for his marriage with Octavia. At Antonius' house, Ennius discusses the triumvir's six-month liason with Cleopatra to the other servants. The wedding procession arrives, and Antonius sends Octavia to her chamber. On learning that Ennius has been stationed in Egypt, he asks about Cleopatra and is enraged to learn that she seems to have forgotten him. Ignoring Octavia's pleadings, he resolves to return to Egypt.

In Amnhes' tavern in Egypt, a disguised Cleopatra and Spakos, her new lover, watch the performance of a young dancer, Adamos. Consumed by jealousy, Spakos tries to strangle Adamos. The other customers are about to attack the two strangers when Cleopatra reveals herself. Her maid, Charmion, then enters, telling her Marcus-Antonius has returned. Spakos tries to stop her, but she goes to meet the Roman anyway.

ACT III
At Cleopatra's palace, the lovers are entertained by dancers from various regions of the ancient world. Cleopatra poisons a goblet of wine and offers a kiss to any slave who will drink it; only Marcus-Antonius stops a slave from drinking the cup. Octavia enters and pleads for Marcus-Antonius to return to Rome, but even the pleadings of Cleopatra herself cannot convince him to leave. Instead, he goes out to rally his armies against Rome. Spakos leads Octavia away as Cleopatra and her women review Antonius' armies.

ACT IV
Cleopatra, in her tomb, has spread the word that she is dead, but has sent messengers to Marcus-Antonius, whose armies have been defeated by Octavian, to come to her. To Spakos' questioning she replies that she does love Marcus-Antonius; spitefully, he tells her he instructed her messenger to confirm her death to the Roman so that he will not return to her. Cleopatra stabs Spakos with her dagger; as he collapses, a slave announces that Marcus-Antonius has come. He is carried in by his soldiers, covered with blood; he tells her that he stabbed himself rather than outlive her. He dies, and Cleopatra allows the asp she had sent for to bite her. Octavius and his soldiers enter as the curtain falls.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Jules Massenet: Cléopâtre. (Montserrat Caballé 2002) Full opera.
 
Cléopâtre: Montserrat Caballé
Octavie : Montserrat Martí
Charmion : Eneida García
Marc Antoine : Filippo Bettoschi
Spakos : Nikolai Baskov
Ennius : Andrea Sivilla
Conductor : Miquel Ortega.
Roma. July 13, 2002.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jules Massenet: Cendrillon (Saturday, March 24, 2012) -- SUNY Purchase Opera
 
"Cendrillon"
Stage Director: Jacque Trussel
Conductor: Hugh Murphy, the Purchase Symphony Orchestra

March 24, 2012, 8pm
Performing Arts Center Recital Hall, Purchase College, New York

Cendrillon: Candace Matthews
La Fée: Crystal Amendola
Prince Charmant: Christopher Colmenero
Pandolfe: Anthony Caputo
Madame de la Haltière: Kelly Clarke
Noémie: Lauren Yokabaskas
Dorothée: Teresa Hitchcock
Le Roi: Colin Whiteman

(Scenes replacing the Ballets to entertain the Prince are taken from "La Fille du Régiment" by Donizetti and "Lakmé" by Léo Delibes:)
Lakmé: Jennifer Adler
Mallika: Rachel Weishoff
Marie: Ava Wing
Tonio: Christopher Sokolowski
Sulpice: Jeremy Geller

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jules Massenet: Marie-Magdeleine
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Massenet's Le Roi de lahore - overture
 
Conductor: Richard Bonynge
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jules Massenet - Nocturne from Orchestral Suite No.1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Massenet Suite No.4
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Massenet: "Cigale" ballet. 1904 (cond. Bonynge)
 
Richard Bonynge conducts the National Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Jules Massenet's divine score for Mme. Mariquita's "Cigale". The libretto was fashioned by the dramatist Henri Caïn from Jean de La Fontaine's "La cigale et la fourmi" ("The Grasshopper & the Ant"). The ballet was first given at the Théâtre national de l'Opéra-Comique in Paris on 4 February, 1904.

"Cigale". Divertissement-ballet in two acts. 1904.

--Act I:
--01. Prélude: Cigale dort
--02. Le réveil de Cigale 1:56
--03. La toilette de Cigale 3:59
--04. La Pauvrette 5:50
--05. La ronde des Cigales 7:45
--06. Mme. Fourmi 11:06
--07. Le garçon de banque 14:54
--08. Le petit ami 16:12
--09. Le divin baiser 18:48
--10. Entr'acte: Vieux Noël 21:55

--Act II:
--11. La Messe de Minuit 24:47
--12. Valse-tourbillon des autans 26:03
--13. Cigale appelle Mme. Fourmi à l'aide 29:22
--14. Cigale voit son amoureux avec la pauvrette 32:03
--15. La mort de Cigale 34:41
--16. Berceuse angélique 37:18

--17. Valse très lente 43:07

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Massenet: "Cigale" ballet. 1904 (cond. Bonynge)
 
Richard Bonynge conducts the National Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Jules Massenet's divine score for Mme. Mariquita's "Cigale". The libretto was fashioned by the dramatist Henri Caïn from Jean de La Fontaine's "La cigale et la fourmi" ("The Grasshopper & the Ant"). The ballet was first given at the Théâtre national de l'Opéra-Comique in Paris on 4 February, 1904.

"Cigale". Divertissement-ballet in two acts. 1904.

--Act I:
--01. Prélude: Cigale dort
--02. Le réveil de Cigale 1:56
--03. La toilette de Cigale 3:59
--04. La Pauvrette 5:50
--05. La ronde des Cigales 7:45
--06. Mme. Fourmi 11:06
--07. Le garçon de banque 14:54
--08. Le petit ami 16:12
--09. Le divin baiser 18:48
--10. Entr'acte: Vieux Noël 21:55

--Act II:
--11. La Messe de Minuit 24:47
--12. Valse-tourbillon des autans 26:03
--13. Cigale appelle Mme. Fourmi à l'aide 29:22
--14. Cigale voit son amoureux avec la pauvrette 32:03
--15. La mort de Cigale 34:41
--16. Berceuse angélique 37:18

--17. Valse très lente 43:07

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Massenet: "Le carillon" ballet (cond. by Bonynge)
 
Richard Bonynge conducts the National Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Jules Massenet's sumptuous score for the Ballet Master Josef Hassreiter's "Le carillon". Hassreiter is also noted as the original choreographer of "Die Puppenfee" ("The Fairy Doll"). "Le carillon" was first given at the Opéra Impériale in Vienna in 1892. Massenet was a wonderful composer of ballet music - his score for "Le carillon" is filled with danceable rhythms, orchestral color & rich melodies. Massenet never disappoints!

I utilized the original published piano score of "Le carillon" to mark each individual number as listed below. Enjoy!

"Le carilon". Ballet in one act. 1892.
--01. Prélude
--02. Valse au cabaret 1:22
--03. Les Ramoneurs 5:02
--04. Les Boulangers 7:25
--05. La moquerie de Bertha 9:22
--06. / 07. L'entrée du Héraut / La déclaration de Bertha 12:09
--08. / 09. L'apparition de Saint Martin / Le carillon des Anges 15:51
--10. Dialogue sentimental 20:01
--11. La discussion de Pif, Jef et Rombalt 24:46
--12. Le lever du jour 29:12
--13. Fanfares / Le cortège de l'Échevin 31:03
--14. Danse flamande 31:25
--15. Valse de Bertha 33:11
--16. Le carillon 35:24

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jules Massenet "Piano Concerto" (1. Mov.)
 
Piano Concerto by Jules Massenet
1. Movement "Andante moderato"
Marylene Dosse, piano
Westphalian Symphony Orchestra
Siegfried Landau, conductor
1974
 
 
 
 
 
 
Jules Massenet "Piano Concerto" (2. Mov.)
 
Piano Concerto by Jules Massenet
2. Movement "Largo"
Marylene Dosse, piano
Westphalian Symphony Orchestra
Siegfried Landau, conductor
1974
 
 
 
 
 
Jules Massenet "Piano Concerto" (3. Mov.)
 
Piano Concerto by Jules Massenet
3. Movement "Airs slovaques - Allegro"
Marylene Dosse, piano
Westphalian Symphony Orchestra
Siegfried Landau, conductor
1974
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Enrico Caruso "Elegie" Massenet
 
Enrico Caruso sings "Elegie"
by Jules Massenet
Mischa Elman, violin
Percy B. Kahn, piano
20.III.1913
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Placido Domingo & Itzhak Perlman "Elégie" Massenet
 
Placido Domingo sings "Elégie"
by Jules Massenet
Itzhak Perlman, violin
New York Studio Orchestra
Jonathan Tunick, conductor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Great Chaliapin Sings Massenet's "Élégie" 1931
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Beniamino Gigli "Elegie" Massenet
 
Beniamino Gigli sings "Elegie"
by Jules Massenet
Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala
Dino Olivieri, conductor
Milano, IV.1935
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
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