Author Topic: Massenet's Maelstrom  (Read 472 times)

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Offline Moonfish

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Massenet's Maelstrom
« on: May 14, 2018, 10:08:18 AM »
Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet (12 May 1842 – 13 August 1912) was a French composer.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jules_Massenet

Compositions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_compositions_by_Jules_Massenet

I'm surprised that Massenet doesn't have a composer thread or am I mistaken? Surely there must be a number of Massenet fans here at GMG?

What are your favorite works and recommendations within the realm of Massenet?





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Offline kyjo

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 06:35:43 PM »
The orchestral suites found on this disc are absolutely delightful in every regard:



These tuneful, colorfully orchestrated works would make nice substitutes for the Bizet Carmen and L'arlesienne suites and the Grieg Peer Gynt suites every once in a while on concert programs. I'm really surprised they aren't played more often.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 06:37:37 PM by kyjo »
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Offline Florestan

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 12:10:30 AM »
The orchestral suites found on this disc are absolutely delightful in every regard:



These tuneful, colorfully orchestrated works would make nice substitutes for the Bizet Carmen and L'arlesienne suites and the Grieg Peer Gynt suites every once in a while on concert programs. I'm really surprised they aren't played more often.

Plus:



I beg to differ on Peer Gynt, though, which is an altogether different affair, a much darker and serious work; the suites do the whole a great injustice and after hearing it in its entirety I have no wish to ever hear just the suites again --- the excising of spoken melodrama robs the composition of more than half of its substance.
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snyprrr

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 11:38:27 AM »
DudeMan, sorry, it shoulda been 'Massenet's Basonette'

Massenet isn't badass enough to evoke a maelstrome,... is he???

Offline Moonfish

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2018, 02:34:02 PM »
DudeMan, sorry, it shoulda been 'Massenet's Basonette'

Massenet isn't badass enough to evoke a maelstrome,... is he???

An alliteration was required!   :P
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Offline Brian

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2018, 07:18:18 PM »
Massenet's Massive Fête

I remember listening to and thoroughly enjoying the piano concerto in that EMI Ciccolini recording, posting about it here, and discovering that everyone else thinks it's a superficial piece that dies on second listen. That scared me off. Maybe it's finally time to try again and see if I still enjoy it!

Offline amw

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2018, 07:32:04 PM »
I am a consistent fan of the Massenet concerto across multiple listens, for what it's worth.

The Hyperion Romantic Piano Concerto series pairs it with Reynaldo Hahn's piano concerto which is also excellent.

Offline Moonfish

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Offline Moonfish

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2018, 09:26:58 PM »
Quite a number of recordings out there. Warner/EMI/Erato recently compiled a Massenet collection (16 cd):


« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 09:38:29 PM by Moonfish »
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Offline Moonfish

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2018, 09:30:22 PM »
Back in 2012 Decca/Universal released this compilation (23 cd) to honor the centennial of his death:

I was thrilled to see Frederica von Stade's "Werther" in this box. 



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Baron Scarpia

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2018, 10:00:48 PM »
I remember listening to and thoroughly enjoying the piano concerto in that EMI Ciccolini recording, posting about it here, and discovering that everyone else thinks it's a superficial piece that dies on second listen. That scared me off. Maybe it's finally time to try again and see if I still enjoy it!

I have that recording in a big box. I should drag it out and give a listen.

Offline DaveF

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2018, 12:05:06 AM »
It's the one thing that probably everybody has heard, but the ballet from Le Cid is gorgeous, endlessly charming, spirited and unforgettable.  (I'm rehearsing for a performance at the moment - castanets, tambourine and side-drum.)
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Offline Alberich

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2018, 03:54:46 AM »
To quote my favorite Massenet opera, it will always be "Thaïs, Thaïs, Thaïs."  :) I saw a spectacular gold-clad production in Finnish national opera once and it's coming again the next season.
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

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Offline mjmosca

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Re: Massenet's Maelstrom
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2018, 01:22:08 AM »
Great to see Massenet getting attention. All of his operas are superb!- Don't miss Werther with Georges Thill and Ninon Vallin, ca. 1930, Manon ca. 1954 with de los Angeles and Henri Gay lead by Monteux, Thais ca. 1962 with Renee Doria and Robert Massard, and Esclarmonde with Sutherland & Bonynge. The new box of collected works looks really good too.

Massenet's works really seem to spring to life when sung by Francophone singers. Esclarmonde recording is the "odd man out" in the list above, but it is really well done nonetheless, as one would expect from the cast and conductor. 

 

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