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: Romeo et Juliette / Alagna, Gheorghiu
Release Date: 08/26/2016   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 109261   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Faust: Salut! demeure chaste et pure

Browse 1-25 of 131 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Crescendo / Secco, Orbelian, Kaunas City Symphony
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3482 Release Date: 07/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  Stefano Secco
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra,  Kaunas State Choir
    CD: $17.99
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  • 2.
    Il mio canto / Saimir Pirgu
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 9041 Release Date: 02/26/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Charles Gounod,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Saimir Pirgu
    Conductor:  Speranza Scappucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 3.
    The French Collection / Piotr Beczala
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002251002 Release Date: 02/17/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Hector Berlioz,  Giuseppe Verdi,  François Boieldieu  ... 
    Performer:  Piotr Beczala,  Diana Damrau
    Conductor:  Alain Altinoglu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon National Opera Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 4.
    Bravo! Villazon - The Recitals [4-CD Set]
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 623618 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Jacques Offenbach,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Rolando Villazón,  Florian Laconi,  Theresa Blank
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Marcello Viotti,  Placido Domingo,  Evelino Pidò
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Madrid Community Orchestra,  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $26.99
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  • 5.
    50 Great Arias / Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002153502 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Jana Sibera,  Michael Volle,  Margarete Joswig  ... 
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato,  Claudio Abbado,  Donald Runnicles,  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Parma Teatro Regio Chorus  ... 
    CD: $35.49
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  • 6.
    The Early Domingo
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 975792 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Georgetta Psaros,  John McCaw,  Franklyn Whiteley  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward Downes,  Nello Santi,  Sherrill Milnes,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 7.
    Operatic Recital
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002067102 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Eugene Conley
    Conductor:  Royalton Kisch,  Alberto Erede,  Warwick Braithwaite,  Robert Farnon
    CD: $12.99
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    Domingo at the Met [Anniversary Edition]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 303160 Release Date: 05/06/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  David [Tenor Vocal] Hamilton,  Allan Glassman,  Paul Plishka  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin,  Giuseppe Patané,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    No Limits /  Francisco Araiza
    Label: Solo Musica   Catalog: 194 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Francisco Araiza
    Conductor:  Ralf Weikert,  Johan Arnell,  Heinz Wallberg,  Mark Elder  ... 
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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    The Best of Jonas Kaufmann
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001894302 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann,  Jana Sibera,  Renée Fleming,  Barbara Vignudelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato,  Antonio Pappano,  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Verdi Chorus Milan  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 13.
    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  ... 
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  • 14.
    Opera Arias / Ramon Vargas
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5165 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Ramón Vargas
    Conductor:  Riccardo Frizza
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  • 15.
    The Young Alfredo Kraus
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93482 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Alfredo Kraus
    Conductor:  José Luis Lloret,  Mario Cordone,  Enrique Estela
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    Singers Of The Century - 40 Greats Of  The 20th Century
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2078 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Ettore Bastianini,  Giuseppe Taddei,  Richard Tucker,  Mario Del Monaco  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 18.
    The Edison Legacy Vol. 2
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 53014 Release Date: 12/18/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Pietro Mascagni,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Adelina Agostinelli,  Carlo Albani,  Oreste Benedetti,  Celestina Boninsegna  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
    Recommendation
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  • 19.
    Placido Domingo Sings Caruso
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 195442 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Jules Massenet,  Francesco Cilèa,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Georgetta Psaros
    Conductor:  Nello Santi,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Sir Georg Solti,  Edward Downes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 20.
    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:  Placido Domingo,  Georgetta Pasaros,  John McCaw,  Wendy Eathorne  ... 
    Conductor:  Nello Santi
    CD: $6.99
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  • 21.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Best Of José Carreras
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 7317012 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Teresa Berganza
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Jacques Delacôte,  Michel Plasson,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 23.
    Best Of Plácido Domingo
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 7317022 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Giacomo Puccini,  Arrigo Boito
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Simon Estes,  Sherrill Milnes,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  James Levine,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Georges Prêtre  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 24.
    Nessun Dorma
    Label: Membran / Documents   Catalog: 233346 Release Date: 11/21/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet,  Jacques Halévy,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Bonisolli,  Mirella Freni,  Henno Garduhn,  Maria Corelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Leone Magiera,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Bruno Bartoletti
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  • 25.
    Joseph Calleja - The Maltese Tenor
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001574702 Release Date: 10/24/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach,  Arrigo Boito  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Calleja,  Aleksandra Kurzak
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Geneva Grand Theatre Chorus
    Recommendation
    CD: $21.99
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