Meditation and Élégie for Cello and Guitar by Jules Massenet
Jules Massenet (1842 - 1912) was a French composer of the Romantic era best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. He also composed oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, songs and other music.
While still a schoolboy, Massenet was admitted to France's principal music college, the Paris Conservatoire. There he studied under Ambroise Thomas, whom he greatly admired. After winning the country's top musical prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1863, he composed prolifically in many genres, but quickly became best known for his operas. Between 1867 and his death forty-five years later he wrote more than forty stage works in a wide variety of styles, from opéra-comique to grand-scale depictions of classical myths, romantic comedies, lyric dramas, as well as oratorios, cantatas and ballets.
Massenet had a good sense of the theatre and of what would succeed with the Parisian public. Despite some miscalculations, he produced a series of successes that made him the leading composer of opera in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Both the Meditation and the Élégie, here arranged for cello and guitar by Gregg Nestor, remain one of the composers most beloved creations. They can be successfully programmed separately or together for concerts.