Home / Persons / MASSENET Jules

Print content of page

MASSENET, Jules (1842-1912)

After piano studies at the Paris Conservatoire, crowned by a Premier Prix in 1859, Massenet obtained the Grand Prix de Rome in 1863. This success led to the commission for La Grand’ Tante, a one-act opéra-comiquewhich was well received on its first performance in 1867. His incidental music for Les Érinnyes (Leconte de Lisle, 1873) and his oratorios Marie-Magdeleine (1873) and Ève (1875) won him much praise, and henceforth he devoted himself above all to opera. Always keen to try something new, Massenet dealt with a wide diversity of subjects: exoticism in Le Roi de Lahore (1877) and Le Mage (1891), the supernatural in Esclarmonde (1889), naturalism in La Navarraise (1894) and Sapho (1897), fairy tale in Cendrillon (1899), legend in Thaïs (1894) and Grisélidis (1901), the medieval and the religious in Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame (1902), ancient mythology in Ariane (1906) and Bacchus (1909) and heroic tragicomedy in Don Quichotte (1910). He also drew inspiration from famous literary works for Le Cid (1885), Manon (1884) and Werther (1892). Massenet was skilled in the psychological portrayal of character and he knew how to pace his works: precious gifts in one dedicated to the composition of operas. He was also a fine melodist, charming audiences with his subtle harmony and refined orchestration, always appropriate to the dramatic situation. Massenet composed piano pieces, sacred works and mélodies, and he also contributed to the revival of symphonic music in France through works such as his six orchestral suites entitled Scènes.

    Images - 445
  • Jules Massenet
  • Jules Massenet
  • Jules Massenet
  • Jules Massenet
  • Jules Massenet
  • Jules Massenet
  • Display more
    Works - 54
  • Amadis (Claretie / Massenet)
  • Année passée (Jules Massenet)
  • Ariane (Mendès / Massenet)
  • Bacchus (Mendès / Massenet)
  • Carillon, Le (Roddaz & Van Dyck / Massenet)
  • Cendrillon (Cain / Massenet)
  • Display more
    Themes - 3
  • Institution – Académie des beaux-arts (Institut)
  • Opéra – L’opéra-comique
  • Prix de Rome – Concours de composition musicale
  • Symposia - 5
  • Exotisme et art lyrique (2012)
  • The Fantastic in French Romantic Opera (2009)
  • L'Opéra-Comique, trois cents ans de création (2015)
  • The Performance of Opera from the late 19th Century to the early 20th Century: From Libretto to Staging (2011)
  • Le concerto pour piano français à l'épreuve des modernités (2010)
  • Studies - 9
  • Branger, Jean-Christophe – Le Mage: a justified revival
  • Branger, Jean-Christophe – Massenet and opera: richness and diversity
  • Campellone, Laurent – Le Mage, a Nietzschean opera?
  • Degott, Pierre – La « haendelisation » de l’oratorio français de 1873 à 1910
  • Dratwicki, Alexandre – Naturalism and Massenet's Thérèse
  • Jardin, Étienne – Thérèse, from the Couvent des Carmes to the Opéra-Comique
  • Display more
    Librettos - 27
  • Ariane (ballet) [mise en scène]
  • Ariane [mise en scène]
  • Cendrillon [mise en scène]
  • Chérubin [mise en scène]
  • Cid, Le (ballet) [mise en scène]
  • Cid, Le [mise en scène]
  • Display more
    Press articles -  200
  • Le Ménestrel, 13 juillet 1862 [prix de Rome]
  • Revue et Gazette musicale de Paris, 13 juillet 1862 [prix de Rome]
  • L’Art musical, 8 octobre 1863 [séance publique de l’Institut]
  • La France musicale, 11 octobre 1863 [séance publique de l’Institut]
  • Le Ménestrel, 11 octobre 1863 [séance publique de l’Institut]
  • Le Ménestrel, 19 juillet 1863 [prix de Rome]
  • Display more
    Documents - 12
  • Écrit de La Tombelle : « Massenet musicien religieux ? » (1912)
  • Lettres à Fernand de La Tombelle : Félicitations reçues après l'obtention du prix Chartier (1896)
  • Lettres à Fernand de La Tombelle : Jules Massenet (1891-1904)
  • Lettres à Jules Griset : Jules Massenet (3 l., 1900-1905)
  • Lettres à Marguerite Griset : Jules Massenet (1 l., s. d.)
  • Lettres de Jules Massenet à Camille Bruno (1900-1907)
  • Display more