Home            Massenet

Prom 76: Last Night of the Proms, 08/09/12
Massenet's Werther – ‘Pourquoi me réveiller?' forms part of the lineup

Massenet & Martinu Opera Triple Bill, A Guildhall School Production 01/11/12 - 07/11/12)                                                                                        http://www.barbican.org.uk/music/event-detail.asp?ID=13754

If you know of any events concerning Massenet or his works, please let us know:
Massenet, published in 1970, was Harding's second biography set against the backdrop of French music.
Reviews of Massenet
"it is rare indeed for the astute musical to take up quarters inside the brilliant littérateur...If there is one attribute by which Mr Harding has no difficulty in outclassing scholars it is his style."  Music & Letters Vol 51, No.3


The book
In the feverish world of late nineteenth-century opera, Jules Massenet (1842 - 1912) stands out as one of the most materially successful and popular composers of the time.  In this study, at once entertaining, sensitive and witty, Harding pays overdue tribute to a master of the theatre and concert hall, while painting a glimmering portrait of Paris during la Belle Epoque.  Released at a time when interest was rising not only in the famous Manon and Werther, but also in the decadent grace of Thaïs, the mellow nobility of Don Quichotte and so many others, Harding's perceptive and brilliant book reaffirms the qualities that made Massenet a master for his time and ours.  
The man
Jules Massenet, born in 1842, was first taught piano by his mother, before studying at the Conservatoire de Paris, where some of his teachers doubted whether he would make a career in music.  Today Massenet's huge corpus of stage works and concert music can be continually re-discovered and re-evaluated by audiences who delight in his superb sense of theatre, his vitality and his command of both voice and orchestration.  Surprisingly perhaps, he avoided all public performances of his works and there is only one known recording by him.  In 1912, at the age of seventy, and after suffering from a long illness, Massenet died and his style fell out of favour for nearly sixty years.