Charles Gounod

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Charles-François Gounod (17 June 1818 - 17 October 1893) was a French composer, best known for his Ave Maria (based on a work by Johann Sebastian Bach) as well as his opera Faust. Another well-known opera by Gounod is Roméo et Juliette.

Gounod was born in Paris, the son of a pianist mother and an artist father. His mother was his first piano teacher. Under her tutelage, Gounod first showed his musical talents. He entered the Conservatoire de Paris, where he studied under Fromental Halévy and Pierre Zimmermann (he later married Zimmermann's daughter). In 1839, he won the Prix de Rome for his cantata Fernand. He was following his father; François-Louis Gounod (d. 1823) had won the second Prix de Rome in painting in 1783.

During his stay of four years in Italy, Gounod studied the music of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and other sacred works of the sixteenth century; these he never ceased to cherish. Around 1846-47 he gave serious consideration to joining the priesthood, but he changed his mind before actually taking holy orders, and went back to composition. During that period, he was attached to the Church of Foreign Missions in Paris.

Gounod is often called the "Schubert of French Song" and while his operas and other vocal works may be more popular than his chansons, his output in that genre is indisputable in both influence, quality and quantity.

Song Cycles, Symphonies, Collections etc.

6 mélodies

Biondina, poème musical

Les Sept Paroles de Notre Seigneur Jesus-Christ sur la Croix

Vingt mélodies

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  • Filiae Jerusalem (Gounod)(Prélude) (in Les Sept Paroles de Notre Seigneur Jesus-Christ sur la Croix) (Text: Bible or other Sacred Texts)


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