Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet (1842-1912) is best known for his operas Manon written in 1884, Werther in 1892, and Thaïs in 1894 and have remained firm favorites in the opera repertoire. In addition to his operas, Massenet composed concert suites, ballet music, oratorios, cantatas and over 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. Long term Massenet champion Richard Bonynge revived Massenet’s opera Esclarmonde in 1974 in San Franciso, in 1976 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and in 1983 at the Royal Opera House in London with, on all occasions, his wife Dame Joan Sutherland in the title role. Also on Guild Music is a CD of songs by Michael Balfe to be followed shortly by songs by William Vincent Wallace with the same artists.