Charles Francois Gounod: A Research and Information Guide by Timothy Flynn

By Timothy Flynn

Charles François Gounod: A learn and knowledge Guide is an annotated bibliography referring to either the character of fundamental resources relating to the composer and the scope and value of the secondary resources which care for him and his compositions.

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Regarding Gounod’s role in and influence upon the French song repertory, Maurice Ravel stated: The true founder of the art song in France was Charles Gounod. The composer of “Venise,” Philémon et Baucis and the shepherd’s song in Sapho rediscovered the secret of a harmonic sensuousness which had been lost since the French harpsichord school of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In fact, the musical renaissance which occurred in France about 1880 had no more valid precursor than Gounod. The true godfathers of the generation of 1895, Fauré and Chabrier, both continued Gounod’s work.

Henri Busser—friend and student of the composer—is also included in this list, and he mentions additional, lesser-known composers such as Guiraud and Paladilhe who were disciples of Gounod as well. Perhaps the most well-known composers were Bizet and Massenet. Bizet was a student and friend of Gounod and, in addition to being a copyist and transcriber, he also made various arrangements of some of the master’s music. Scholars, such as Lesley Wright, point to the influences of Gounod’s Symphony no.

The opening chapter sets the stage for the specific discussion of Romanticism, which makes up the remainder of the book. ” After this, the literary forms—poetry, prose, drama, and criticism—are examined, followed by the sister arts of music and the visual arts. ” Charlton encourages the reader to set aside this work and to “repair to the bookshelves, the concert halls and the art galleries” to experience the period and to truly come to terms with the legacy of the French Romantics. While this volume deals primarily with the period prior to Gounod’s ascendancy as a composer, it is nevertheless invaluable to the student of the period, and it demonstrates the totality of the culture and society that not only shaped Gounod as a man and composer, but influenced the entire nineteenth century.

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