Autobiographical Reminiscences with Family Letters and Notes on Music

Autobiographical Reminiscences with Family Letters and Notes on Music

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Autobiographical Reminiscences with Family Letters and Notes on Music by Charles Gounod

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1896

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Autobiographical Reminiscences with Family Letters and Notes on Music

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Charles Gounod looks back at his life and the music in it.

Book Excerpt

ould have been bad policy on her part to try to do more than physical endurance would permit, and, in the event, my mother decided to devote herself to music.

* * * * *

I was so young when my father died, that my recollection of him is very indistinct. I can only recall three or four memories of him with any degree of certainty, but they are as clear as those of yesterday. The tears rise to my eyes as I commit them to this paper.

One impression indelibly stamped upon my brain is that of seeing him sitting with his legs crossed (his customary attitude) by the chimney corner, absorbed in reading, spectacles on nose, dressed in a white striped jacket and loose trousers, and a cotton cap similar to those worn by many painters of his day. I have seen the same cap, many years since then, on the head of Monsieur Ingres, Director of the Academie de France at Rome--my illustrious, and, I regret to say, departed friend.

As a rule, while my father was thus absorbed in his book, I would be spr

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