Online Encyclopedia

JULES SMILE FREDERIC MASSENET (1842– )

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 866 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JULES SMILE FREDERIC MASSENET (1842– ), French composer, was born at Montaud, on the 12th of May 1842. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, where he obtained the Grand Prix de Rome in 1863 with the cantata David Rizzio. Massenet became one of the most prolific composers of his time. His operas include the following: La Grande tante, one act, opera comique (1867); Don Cesar de Bazan, three acts, opera comique (1872); Le Roi de Lahore, five acts, opera (1877); Herodiade, five acts (Brussels, 1881); Manon, five acts, opera comique (1884); Le Cid, four acts, opera (1885); Esdarmonde, four acts, opera comique (1889); Le Mage, five acts, opera (1891); Werther, four acts (Vienna, 1892); Thais, three acts, opera (1894); Le Portrait de Manon, one act, opera comique (1894); La Navarraise, two acts (Covent Garden, 1894); Sapho, opera comique (1897); Cendrillon, opera comique (1900) ; Griselidis, opera comique (1901); Le Jongleur de Notre Dame (Mentone, 1902). Of these the most popular is Manon. Massenet's other works include Marie Madeleine, sacred drama (1873); Eve, a mystery (1875); La Vierge, sacred legend (188o); six orchestral suites entitled Scenes hongroises, Scenes pittoresques, Scenes dramatiques, Scenes napolitaines, Scenes de feerie, Scenes alsaciennes; music to the tragedy Les Erynnies, to Theodora, Le Crocodile, L'Hetman; a requiem, Narcisse; an idyll, Biblis; a Scene antique; several sets of songs, entitled Paine d'avril, Poeme d'amour, Paine d'hiver, Poeme d'octobre, Paine pastoral, Poeme du souvenir; also a large number of detached songs. He was professor of composition at the Conservatoire from 1878 to 1896, among his pupils being Hillemacher, Marty, Bruneau, Vidal, Pierne, Leroux and Charpentier. Massenet undoubtedly possesses a style of his own. He is at his best in music descriptive of the tender passion, and many of the love scenes in his operas are very beautiful.
End of Article: JULES SMILE FREDERIC MASSENET (1842– )
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