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Charles Gounod

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Biography

Charles Gounod (1818-1893) was a French composer, best known for his Ave Maria as well as his operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette.

Gounod wrote his first opera, Sapho, in 1851, with the help of Pauline Viardot, but had no great theatrical success until Faust (1859), based on the play by Goethe. This remains his best-known work, and although it took a while to achieve great renown, it eventually became one of the most frequently staged operas of all time. The romantic and highly melodious Roméo et Juliette (based on the Shakespeare play), premiered in 1867, is also performed and recorded now and then, even though it has never come close to matching Faust’s popularity. Mireille of 1864, a charming and graceful composition, has been admired by connoisseurs rather than by the general public.

Later in his life, Gounod returned to his early religious impulses, writing much religious music. His earlier work included an improvisation of a melody over the C major Prelude (BWV 846) from The Well-Tempered Clavier, to which in 1859 Gounod set the words of Ave Maria, resulting in his composition Ave Maria, a setting that became world-famous. He also wrote a Pontifical Anthem, now the official national anthem of the Vatican City.

In 1893, apparently shortly after he had put the finishing touches to a requiem written for his grandson, he died in Saint-Cloud, France.

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  • octopuss22

    Monty Python brought me here. :}

    4 May 9:01am Reply
  • OG-Gurda

    great

    29 Mar 9:34pm Reply
  • fymek

    vvv Yeap, Charles-François Gounod is correct.

    27 Jun 2013 Reply
  • John-Ackles

    Le veau d'or est toujours debout! is awesome

    26 Mar 2013 Reply
  • KorneyD

    возьми да загугли вики, говнарь

    5 May 2012 Reply
  • Versetty2005

    Full name is Charles François Gounod, isn't it?

    29 Apr 2012 Reply
  • MusicHallofFame

    The Music Hall of Fame are delighted to induct Charles Gounod into the Class of 1956. Congratulations. Please vist our page too see the latest inductees into the Music Hall of Fame

    12 Feb 2012 Reply
  • znienacka

    genius :)

    1 Jun 2011 Reply
  • rkat

    Love the Waltz at the end of first act. Especially near the ending when it becomes faster.

    18 Jan 2011 Reply
  • rosmaritbrum

    Very wonderful...

    8 May 2010 Reply
  • DawnBearer

    Only 2 shouts?! What a shame. I just finished hearing his Faust.. that church scene struck me with awe, a chill in my spine... And I understood the libretto instread of just searching for translations. ^_^

    5 May 2010 Reply
  • sherwinjtb

    That would have been a nice experience to produce success in his life time.

    19 Feb 2010 Reply
  • RosesOfTomorrow

    Nice. : )

    15 Jan 2010 Reply

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