Music Composers

Charles Gounod-Part 13

Many of Gounod's songs have been very popular indeed, and such works as Nazareth, There is A Green Hill Far Away and the Ave Maria, written over the prelude to the first Fugue in the Well Tempered Clavichord of Back, have become extremely popular. Gounod's Autobiographical Reminiscences rank with those of Berlioz in interest, although not nearly so comprehensive. Gounod wrote many monographs upon noted musicians and also a Method for the Cornet. His compositions suitable to the piano are limited to transcriptions of his operatic works and such unimportant pieces as The Funeral March of Marionette, Marche Romaine, etc.

It is difficult to form a just appreciation of Gounod's work as a whole since there are many moments of undoubted inspiration, continual evidences of highly developed craftsmanship in composition, instrumentation, etc, which have been greatly admired by real music workers who now the difficulties encountered in securing such effects, much deliciously sensuous melody and often very decided dramatic force in his stage works, as well as an unmistakable spirit of reverence in his church compositions. However, it cannot be denied that there are here and there passages of banality or mediocrity which are difficult to associate with Gounod's more inspired periods. Many of his melodies are extremely original and at times voluptuous.

The Etude Magazine November 1912





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