Gounod, Charles François (shärl fräNswäˈ gōnōˈ) [key], 1818–93, French composer, studied at the Paris Conservatory and received the Grand Prix de Rome in 1839. His fame rests chiefly on his operas Faust (1859) and Romeo and Juliet (1867), marked by their richly lyrical romantic music. One other opera, Mireille (1864), had some success. His oratorios La Rédemption (1882) and Mors et Vita (1885) and his funeral cantata, Gallia (1871) are worthy of note. He spent some years in the study of theology and greatly admired the church music of Palestrina.
See his reminiscences (tr. 1896, repr. 1970); biography by J. Harding (1973).
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