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Panurne, Massenet

Massenet was a fluent and skilful orchestrator, and willingly provided ballet episodes for his operas, incidental music for plays, and a one-act stand-alone ballet for Vienna (Le carillon, 1892). Macdonald remarks that Massenet's orchestral style resembled that of Delibes, "with its graceful movement and bewitching colour", which was highly suited to classical French ballet. The Méditation for solo violin and orchestra, from Thaïs, is possibly the best known non-vocal piece by Massenet, and appears on many recordings. Another popular stand-alone orchestral piece from the operas is Le dernier sommeil de la Vierge from La Vierge, which has featured on numerous discs since the middle of the 20th century.
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