Charles Gounod Quotes

Charles-François Gounod was one of the most brilliant French composers of the 19th century, best known for his Ave Maria, based on a work by Bach, as well as his opera Faust. Another opera by Gounod, occasionally still performed, is Roméo et Juliette. His opera Faust was used for the opening of New York’s Metropolitan Opera House in 1883.

“This severe, ascetic music, calm and horizontal as the line of the ocean, monotonous by virtue of its serenity, anti-sensuous, and yet so intense in its contemplativeness that it verges sometimes on ecstasy” – Charles Gounod

“I fight against the void. I think I’ve written something acceptable, and then, when I look at it again, I find it execrable.” – Charles Gounod

“My humiliating profession of decomposer of music.” – Charles Gounod

“Musical ideas sprang to my mind like a flight of butterflies, and all I had to do was to stretch out my hand to catch them.” – Charles Gounod

“God grant me a failure like that!” – Charles Gounod

“You were the beginning of my life as an artist. I sprang from you, You are the cause and I am the consequence.” – Georges Bizet wrote in a letter to Gounod, 1872

“My opinion changes rapidly – one minute I can think it is very good and the next time I look at it, I see all the flaws and weaknesses therein.” – Charles Gounod

“To be a great artist is not necessarily to be an honorable man.” – Georges Bizet, referring to Gounod, quoted in W Dean, Bizet (1975)

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