Charles Gounod

Biography

Born: 1818   Died: 1893   Country: France   Period: Romantic
Charles Gounod is best known for his operas Faust and Romeo et Juliette and for his Ave Maria (1859). Except for concertos, he composed music in the major genres, but with varying success in the instrumental realm. Gounod was more at home in the vocal arena, particularly in opera and sacred music. Though his reputation began to fade even before he died, he is still generally regarded as a major figure in nineteenth century French music. Read more Stylistically, he was a conservative whose influence nevertheless extended to Bizet, Saint-Saëns, and Massenet. He could not be called a trailblazer or the founder of any movement or school. His works are tuneful, his vocal writing imaginative, and orchestral scoring masterly. Gounod's compositions, even his two symphonies and lesser known operas, are occasionally explored today, and the aforementioned Faust and Romeo et Juliette and Ave Maria are widely performed and recorded.

Gounod was born on June 17, 1818. His mother was a pianist who served as the young boy's first teacher. While still in his youth she arranged for him to receive composition lessons from Anton Reicha. After Reicha's death, Gounod began studies at the Paris Conservatory, where he won a Grand Prix in 1839 for his Cantata Fernand.

After further composition studies in Rome, where he focused on sixteenth century church music, particularly the works of Palestrina, he became deeply interested in religion and by 1845 was contemplating the priesthood. Though he would eventually reject the idea and marry, he remained religious throughout his life and wrote many sacred works, including masses, the most popular being the 1855 St. Cecilia Mass. In that year Gounod also turned out two symphonies, which achieved attention but not lasting success. It was the 1859 opera Faust, however, that, after a slow start, became Gounod's calling card. Mireille (1864) and especially Romeo et Juliette (1867) added to his reputation, not only in France but throughout Europe.

From 1870-1875 Gounod lived in England owing to the exigencies of the Franco-Prussian War. In his years there and in the period following his return to France, Gounod wrote much music, especially religious music, but never again attained the kind of success he experienced in the 1850s and '60s. Among his more compelling and imaginative late works is the 1885 Petite Symphonie, (scored for nine instruments). Gounod died in St. Cloud on October 18, 1893. Read less
Gounod: Petite Symphony;  Poulenc, Ibert / Athena Ensemble
Release Date: 10/28/1992   Label: Chandos Collect  
Catalog: 6543   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Roméo et Juliette: Ah! lève-toi, soleil

Browse 1-25 of 73 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Romantic Hero / Vittorio Grigolo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 375658 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  Vittorio Grigolo,  Sonya Yoncheva,  Alessandra Martines
    Conductor:  Evelino Pidò
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan
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  • 2.
    Fernando De Lucia - Complete Gramophone Company Recordings 1902-1909
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 54004 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Jules Massenet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Fernando de Lucia,  Salvatore Cattone,  Antonio Pini-Corsi,  Josefina Huguet  ... 
    Conductor:  Salvatore Sassano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
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  • 3.
    Voices of French Opera [5-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 280462 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean-Baptiste Lully,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Christoph W. Gluck,  André Modeste Grétry  ... 
    Performer:  Véronique Gens,  Miguel Villabella,  Solange Petit-Renaux,  Patricia Petibon  ... 
    Conductor:  Christophe Rousset,  Maurice Cauchie,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Henri Tomasi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Talens Lyriques,  Les Folies Françoises,  Monteverdi Choir  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 4.
    The Very Best Of Nicolai Gedda
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 164972 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Charles Gounod,  Hector Berlioz,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  André Mallabrera,  Ernest Blanc,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Alceo Galliera,  Georges Prêtre,  André Cluytens,  Pierre Dervaux  ... 
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  • 5.
    Jussi Björling - Classic Arias & Duets Of Bizet, Puccini, Et Al
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1080 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Emil Markow,  Harry Ebert
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Nils Grevillius
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  • 6.
    Nicolai Gedda - Tenor Par Excellence
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1203 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet,  Daniel-François-Esprit Auber  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda
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  • 7.
    Placido Domingo: La Voce D'oro
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 195444 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Georgetta Pasaros,  Placido Domingo,  John McCaw,  Brian Etheridge  ... 
    Conductor:  Nello Santi
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  • 8.
    The Very Best Of Jussi Bjorling
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6789972 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Paul Franke  ... 
    Conductor:  Nils Grevillius,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Renato Cellini
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  • 9.
    Jussi Bjorling - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 774892 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Charles Gounod,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Emil Markow,  Frederick Schauwecker  ... 
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Nils Grevillius,  Jonel Perlea,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Historical Collection - Alfredo Kraus,  Boris Christoff, Renata Scotto
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 33683 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Fulton,  Renata Scotto,  Boris Christoff,  Alfredo Kraus
    Conductor:  Bruno Amaducci,  José Collado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grand Canary Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $32.49
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  • 11.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit: Richard Crooks
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89744 Release Date: 04/12/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Richard [Tenor Vocal] Crooks
    Conductor:  Wilfrid Pelletier,  Nathaniel Shilkret
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  • 12.
    Ioan Holender Farewell Concert / Netrebko, Domingo, Quasthoff [2 DVDs]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001491309 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Nadia Krasteva,  Herwig Pecoraro,  Michaela Selinger  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Antonio Pappano,  Bertrand De Billy,  Franz Welser-Möst  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 13.
    Georges Thill Vol 3 - Gounod
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10248 Release Date: 10/15/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod
    Performer:  Marthe Nespoulous,  Fred Bordon,  Georges Thill,  Germaine Feraldy  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugène Bigot,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Philippe Gaubert
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  • 14.
    The Pearl Fishers' Duet: The Very Best Of Jussi Bjorling
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1100 Release Date: 10/05/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Harry Ebert
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Nils Grevillius,  Sir Thomas Beecham
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  • 15.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57531 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Margareta Lilowa,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Ursula Kunz  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Bernard Haitink,  Rafael Kubelik,  Peter Schneider  ... 
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  • 16.
    Icon - Nicolai Gedda - Lyric Poet Of The Tenor Voice
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56095 Release Date: 03/23/2010   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Joaquin Turina,  Ottorino Respighi,  Francesco Maria Veracini,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Gerald Moore,  Jan Eyron,  Aldo Ciccolini  ... 
    Conductor:  Lonya Kolbouss,  Robert Stolz,  Willy Mattes,  Willi Boskovsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Men's Chorus,  Balalaika Orchestra,  Graunke Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    Best Tenor Voices 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 06701 Release Date: 10/06/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Corinna Vozza,  Adriana Lazzarini,  Rolando Villazón  ... 
    Conductor:  Gabriele Santini,  Marcello Viotti,  Umberto Berrettoni,  Alain Lombard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 18.
    Icon - Franco Corelli - The Tenor As Hero
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64887 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Birgit Nilsson,  Bonaldo Giaiotti,  Grace Bumbry  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Franco Ferraris,  Tullio Serafin,  Rafaele Mingardo  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera Teatro Reale Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus  ... 
    CD: $27.49
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  • 19.
    100 Best Tenor Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 242720 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Siegfried Jerusalem,  Peter Haage  ... 
    Conductor:  Jacques Delacôte,  Berislav Klobucar,  Bernard Haitink,  Heinz Wallberg  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 20.
    Alfredo Kraus In Recital
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4464 Release Date: 12/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Juan Quintero,  Gonzalo Roig,  Tomás Barrera  ... 
    Performer:  Alfredo Kraus,  Jose Tordesillas
    DVD: $23.99
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  • 21.
    Icon - Jussi Björling, The Swedish Caruso Sings Verdi, Puccini, Etc
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 17313 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Henry Ernest Geehl,  Carl Sjöberg  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Jussi Björling,  John Reardon,  Giorgio Tozzi  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Gabriele Santini,  Nils Grevillius,  Renato Cellini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus,  Rome Opera House Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 22.
    Opera! The Most Famous Arias
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 2156995 Release Date: 10/21/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Anatoly Solovyanenko,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Alberto Cupido,  Giuseppe Di Stefano  ... 
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  • 23.
    The Great Tenors Vol 2 / Knote, Cerini, Paoli, Munteanu, Borgatti, Lapelletrie, Et Al
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1368 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franco Alfano  ... 
    Performer:  Leon Campagnola,  Petre Munteanu,  Giuseppe Borgatti,  Antonio Paoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Early French Tenors - Émile Scaramberg, Pierre Cornubert, Julien Lepestre
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52059 Release Date: 07/12/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Aimé Maillart,  Jules Massenet,  Marietti,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Julien Lepestre,  Pierre Cornubert,  Emile Scaramberg,  Georgette Brejean-Silver
    CD: $36.99
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  • 25.
    Salut! - Donizetti, Gounod, Verdi, Etc / Piotr Beczala
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 715081 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  François Bazin  ... 
    Performer:  Piotr Beczala
    Conductor:  Ion Marin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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