The Operas of Charles Gounod

The Operas of Charles Gounod

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Gounod was the leading opera composer in France in the mid-nineteenth century, and his best-known operas, including "Faust" and "Romeo and Juliette" date from that time. Despite the overwhelming success of "Faust" and Gounod's immense influence on all French composers of the later nineteenth century, he has been virtually ignored by scholars until now. Steven Huebner sets out to remedy this neglect with an account of Gounod's operatic career. Set in the context of Gounod's operatic world, Huebner charts the composer's career from his early decision to abandon studies for the priesthood in favour of the stage, through the years of frustration and uncertainty, to the triumphant success of "Faust", and beyond that to the years he spent in England, when he composed oratorios for the Birmingham and Norwich Festivals and became the first conductor of what is now the Royal Choral Society. The central section of Huebner's book deals with each of the major operas, discussing not only the music but also the critical reception and source material. The final section considers aspects of the composer's musical style and outlines his influence on subsequent generations of composers.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 324 pages
  • 155 x 235mm | 717g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 35 music examples, 8pp illustrations, bibliography, index
  • 0193153297
  • 9780193153295

Table of contents

Part 1 Chronicle: from the seminary to the stage; early "Succes d'estimes"; turn to the Theatre-Lyrique; an unsteady career; Parisian triumph at last; England and afterwards. Part 2 The operas: "Faust"; "Mireille"; "Romeo et Juliette"; "The Short Operas-Comiques"; early works for the opera; "La reine de Saba"; the late works. Part 3 Style: melody; harmony; form.
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