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Dip Your Ears: No. 271 (Gounod, the Pianist)

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Charles Gounod
Piano Works
Roberto Prosseda
Decca, 2018

Something Different from Mr. Gounod

We know Charles Gounod as the composer of the grand opera Faust, perhaps also Roméo et Juliette, and of course the “Ave Maria” which, in any case, is mostly Bach. That’s a rather limited view for a composer otherwise so well known. This disc of Roberto Prosseda performing a selection of his piano works broadens that view most pleasantly. Gounod melodic gift shines, the works are simple, sweet, and, in the case of the Sonata for Four Hands (with Enrico Pompili) downright brilliant! Even that Ave Maria is making an appearance in its first iteration as a piano transcription, in which it is yet still closer to the Bach original – and no less delicious for it.

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