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The best of French composers – and quite a cosmopolitan bunch they were too.
Of all 19th century composers, perhaps it was the French who had the greatest gift for melody. It made them extremely popular in their own time but meant that their works received a bit of a snub from later audiences who wanted a bit more drama and dissonance. ‘Thankfully we can now once again appreciate just how great a composer like Massenet was, for example,’ says Katherine. ‘He was a consummate opera composer. There’s lots to discover and enjoy in his opera Manon, and some wonderful moments in Werther too. And then there’s Thais, set in Egypt, which has one of music’s most exquisite melodies.’
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