The Wikipedia page for Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod) says:

The piece consists of a melody by the French Romantic composer Charles Gounod that he superimposed over an only very slightly changed version of the Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV 846, from Book I of J.S. Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, published in 1722. (emphasis mine)

What are the slight changes between Gounod's Ave Maria and Bach's Prelude No. 1 in C major?

  • As the answer points out, Gounod did not make the change.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 17, 2019 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


Gounod based his Ave Maria on a version of Bach's Prelude in C where one bar had been added. According to Wikipedia, the bar had been added by Christian Friedrich Gottlieb Schwencke.

Here is the passage as Bach wrote it, as published in Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe, vol. 14, pp.1-5, by Breitkopf und Härtel in 1866, edited by Franz Kroll.

the passage as Bach wrote it, without the spurious bar

Here is the passage with the spurious bar added, as published by Schirmer in 1898, edited by Louis Oesterle.

the passage with the spurious bar

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.