Guild GM 7393
Massenet: Songs – Sally Silber (soprano), Richard Bonynge (piano)
Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet (1842 – 1912) is best known for his operas – Manon written in 1884, Werther in 1892, and Thaïs in 1894. All have remained firm favourites in the opera repertoire. In addition to operas, Massenet composed concert suites, ballet music, oratorios, cantatas, and more than two hundred and eighty songs. There is only one cycle on this disc, the short Quelques Chansons Mauves, most of the other songs being individual compositions. The lifelong Massenet champion Richard Bonynge revived the composer’s opera Esclarmonde in San Francisco in 1974, performing it also at The Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1976 and The Royal Opera in London in 1983, on all occasions with his wife, Dame Joan Sutherland, in the title role. Also on Guild Music is a CD of songs by Michael Balfe, which is to be followed shortly by a disc of songs by William Vincent Wallace, involving the same artists.