The New Grove Dictionary of Opera notes that Massenet's sense of humour and wit is more evident in this work, and the use of recurrent motifs is more discreet, while the love music "reminds us how well Massenet knew his Wagner". Albert Carré persuaded the composer to drop a prologue introducing the characters, but a brief epilogue survives. Another writer comments that Massenet’s perfectly proportioned score moves from a scene worthy of Jean-Baptiste Lully's Armide, through Rossinian vocalises and archaic orchestrations to ballet movements on a par with Tchaikovsky.
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