Summary Charles Gounod



Gounod is an outstanding French composer, who made a significant contribution to the development of national traditions of democratic art. In his best operas, he strove for a true transfer of the life drama of ordinary people, to a colorful sketch of real life. These features of the plot and the means of musical expressiveness are characteristic of the French lyric opera, whose creator was Gounod. With his music, rich in melodic phrases of the urban romance song, which is sensitive to the shades of psychological conditions, Gounod paved the way for further confirmation of realism in the work of French composers of the second half of the 19th century.

Charles Gounod was born in Paris on June 17, 1818 in the artist’s family. His first teacher of music was his mother – an excellent pianist. In 1836, the young man entered the Paris Conservatoire. Upon graduation, in 1839, he was sent for three years to Rome for improvement. After returning to Paris and later Gounod worked as an organist in the church, directed choral amateur societies, wrote music for dramatic plays. Since 1851, he began his fruitful work in the field of opera. The first operas of Gounod, however, had no success. World recognition to him brought “Faust” (1859).

Gounod wrote twelve operas. The most interesting among them are “Mireille” (1863) and “Romeo and Juliet” (1867). The latter, along with “Faust”, is one of the best works of the composer. Besides operas, Gounod left oratorios, masses, symphonies, piano pieces and romances.

Gounod died in Paris on October 18, 1893.

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Summary Charles Gounod