Gounod Sheet Music and Biography
Charles-François Gounod was a French composer most famous for his operas, particularly Faust and Romeo et Juliette.
Life and Career
Gounod was born in Paris on 17th June 1818. His father was a painter and draughtsman and his mother was a talented pianist. She was the one to give Charles his first lessons on the instrument.
When he was very young Charles and his family lived at the Palace of Versailles where his father was an official artist to the Duke of Berry. Sadly his father died when Charles was just four years old and his mother returned to her occupation as a piano teacher to support her family.
In 1836 Gounod was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire and he gained the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1839. His studies took him around Europe and he met Felix Mendelssohn whilst in Leipzig. At one point he seriously considered becoming a priest. However, despite being deeply religious throughout his life he chose the path of music and marriage.
On this return to Paris, he became a choirmaster and organist and studied theology.
In 1859 his production of Faust marked a new era in French opera. Faust overshadowed all of his future operas.
In 1870 Gounod’s family moved to England to escape the Franco-Prussian war. Gounod remained in England until 1875, and on his return to Paris, he had been largely forgotten and replaced by a younger generation of composers. He continued to write religious music.
Gounod died on the 18th October 1893 following a stroke 3 days earlier. Fauré conducted the music at his state funeral on 27th October in Paris.
Gounod Sheet Music Downloads and Further Reading
We have a large selection of arrangements of Charles Gounod sheet music in PDF format for you to download.