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Charles Gounod Program Notes and Sheet Music

Charles Gounod (17 June 1818 – 18 October 1893) was a French composer, best known for his operas, including Faust and Roméo et Juliette. He was also a prolific composer of religious music, including the Ave Maria.

Gounod was born in Paris to a family of musicians. His father was a painter and his mother was a pianist. He studied music at the Paris Conservatory, where he won the Prix de Rome in 1839.

After winning the Prix de Rome, Gounod went to Italy to study for three years. While in Italy, he was influenced by the music of Palestrina and Monteverdi. He also began to compose operas.

Gounod's first opera, Sapho, was not a success. However, his second opera, Faust, was a huge success when it premiered in 1859. Faust is one of the most popular operas in the world.

Gounod went on to compose many other successful operas, including Roméo et Juliette (1867), Mireille (1864), and Polyeucte (1872). He also composed a large body of religious music, including the Ave Maria (1859), the Messe solennelle de Sainte-Cécile (1855), and the opera-oratorio La Rédemption (1882).

Gounod was a prolific and successful composer. His music is characterized by its lyricism, melody, and harmony. He was a master of orchestration, and his music is often praised for its rich and evocative sound.

Gounod died in Paris in 1893. He is considered one of the most important French composers of the 19th century.

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