Ave Maria - G Major
Mélodie religieuse adaptée au 1er Prélude de J.S. Bach - Meditation
In 1852, Gounod improvised a melody over Bach's Prelude in C from the Well-Tempered Clavier (written in 1722) which his future father-in-law, pianist Pierre-Joseph Zimmerman, wrote down and arranged for violin and small choir, a fifth above.
That same year, Gounod set his melody to the text Vers sur un album by Alphonse de Lamartine and had it published by L. Mayaud et Cie.
In 1853, a first instrumental version was published for violin (or cello) and piano under the title Méditation sur le 1er Prélude de piano de S. Bach.
In 1859, the melody was set to the Ave Maria prayer in Latin and was published in Paris by Heugel under the title Mélodie religieuse adaptée au 1er prélude de J.S. Bach. It was first performed in Paris on May 24, 1859 by the famous Mme Caroline Miolan-Carvalho, who also created the soprano roles in Gounod's operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette.
Please note that there are slight differences between the vocal and instrumental versions :
- The titles are different : the vocal version is entitled Mélodie religieuse adaptée au 1er prélude de J.S. Bach, while the instrumental version is entitled Méditation sur le 1er Prélude de piano de S. Bach
- The melody is played twice in the instrumental version but only once in the vocal version
- The tempo marking is Andante semplice in the instrumental version and Andante con moto in the vocal version
- There are slight differences in note values : for instance, measure 6 contains a whole note in the instrumental version, but a dotted half-note, a rest and an eight-note in the vocal version
- The notes in the last four measures are different, and the vocal version contains a supplementary tremolo measure
Gounod entitled this arrangement for voice Mélodie religieuse adaptée au premier Prélude de J.S. Bach [Sacred melody adapted to the first Prelude of J.S. Bach].
This sheet music is set in the original key for Gounod's Ave Maria, G Major.
The vocal range is D4 to B5 (C4 is middle C).
The lyrics consist of one verse in Latin.
Please note also that in order to accomodate different vocal ranges, we offer Gounod's Ave Maria in different keys :
- G major (vocal range : D4 to B5, original key)
- F Major (vocal range : C4 to A5)
- E flat Major (vocal range : Bb3 to G5)
- D flat Major (vocal range : Ab3 to F5)
- C Major (vocal range : G3 to E5)
- B flat Major (vocal range : F3 to D5)
Duration : 02:45
Source : Charles-François Gounod, Sacred & Pious Songs.
This sheet music appears in the following collections :