A French composer of opera, ballet, and other dramatic music, plus choral, vocal, and instrumental music. Fluid melodies, bright and rich orchestration, and lightly emotional aesthetics characterize much of Massenet
's appealing output, such as the highly enjoyable and tuneful ballet Le Cid and the portrait of the "amoureuse" in the opera Manon. Massenet
's harmonic writing influenced the young Debussy
. In a way, Massenet
is like Mascagni
in presenting what is imagined to be basic in the "internal life" of a national character (at least for those times).