Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet (1842 ? 1912) was a
French composer best known for his operas. His
compositions were very popular in the late 19th and
early 20th centuries, and he ranks as one of the
greatest melodists of his era. Soon after his death,
Massenet's style went out of fashion, and many of his
operas fell into almost total oblivion. Apart from
Manon and Werther, his works were rarely performed.
The "Mélodie pourie Violoncelle" by Jules Massenet
(1842-1912) was perhaps one of the most popular
melodies in Europe of the fin de sicle, the last
decades of the nineteenth century, often referred to as
the Belle Epoque. Massenet originally composed it in
1866 for a piano cycle titled Pieces de Genre, Op. 10
No 5. In 1872, he incorporated the piece into Les
Erinnyes (The Furies), a play by Leconte de Lisle. The
sorrowful melody for muted cello became a solo piece
entitled Melodie-Elogie and was arranged numerous times
for many instruments and instrumental ensembles. At
some point it was adapted to the lyrics doux printemps
d'autrefois by Louis Gallet (1698?-1757).
Although this piece was originally written for Cello
and Piano, Gabriel Verdalle arrarranged this work for
solo Concert (Pedal) Harp.