Publication's Style: Soft Cover - Score and Parts
Level of Difficulty: Intermediate
General Description: Duet for Flute or Violin and Guitar
Catalog Number: 74287
Gounod was born in Paris, the son of a pianist mother and a draftsman father. His mother was his first piano teacher, under her tutelage Gounod first showed his musical talents. He entered the Paris Conservatoire where he studied under Fromental Halévy. He won the Prix de Rome in 1839 for his cantata Ferdinand. He subsequently went to Italy where he studied the music of Palestrina. Gounod wrote mainly religious music, including this musical setting of Ave Maria, which was based on the first prelude from Book I of the Well-Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach.
This uniquely moving and spiritual melody has turned out to be Gounod's most enduring work. In this arrangement, which is in the key of A, the guitarist achieves a harp like quality by playing in the instruments higher range, more closely resembling the original compositions timbre. The quiet opening passage achieves a most delicate quality through the incorporation of harmonics, creating an ethereal accompaniment that perfectly complements the melodic line.