In this arrangement of the Bach - Gounod “Ave Maria” from PlentyMusic for soprano saxophone and piano Gounod’s melody is played by the soprano saxophonist while the Bach Prelude No. 1 is played by the pianist. The music has been transposed to the Key of F which is more appropriate in respect to the pitch range of the soprano saxophone. There is no definitive edition of the work and there are countless melodic variants so do expect to hear the movement played differently particularly in respect to the last four bars. Gounod’s arrangement has an extra bar (bar 27) than Bach’s original Prelude in C which has a total of 35 bars. In Gounod’s arrangement the first 4 bars are repeated making it 40 bars long without a repeat. Gounod’s melody if time allows should be internalised so that players they can concentrate on the tonal and interpretative aspects of their performance which in time will enable them to make the movement their own. The performance focus should always be on communicating the beauty of the melody in a legato singing style. The music editor suggests avoiding any exaggerated playing or eccentricities from the ornamentation point of view. There are many different interpretations of the Gounod arrangement particularly as to how the dotted notes are played and the pick-up or anacrusis notes in the section from bar 23 to bar 28. There are as many different endings to the movement as there are performances - deciding how the last 4 notes /4 bars are to be played is a topic in itself. In making a decision players should essentially consider the range of the instrument they are playing. Some of the tied notes can be/and are untied in the closing section particularly by brass players and other instrumentalists playing at a slow tempo. The best advice is to listen to contemporary practice and on the basis of the evidence make your own decision. Rhythmically the accompaniment needs to be played by the pianist in an even and as controlled way as possible. Pianists will need to make use of the sustaining pedal and its use is indicated in the opening bars and the pattern although not indicated should continue through the movement. The best rule to follow when using the sustaining pedal is simply not to overpedal and obscure the clarity of the harmony. Piano accompaniments are available as mp3 downloads playing at 63, 66, 68, 70 and 72 beats per minute (bpm). Pitch is at A = 440 hertz and the recording quality is 256kbps which will allow the recordings to be amplified and used in performances, teaching and practice contexts. Originally published as a Meditation on Prelude No. 1 by J. S. Bach the music appeared in 1859 with a text setting of the Latin prayer “Ave Maria” which has become widely known and performed both as an instrumental and vocal solo. Whilst Bach is a baroque composer Gounod, a French composer, known particularly for his operas belongs to the romantic period in music history. The movement is frequently performed at weddings and funerals as well as being an excellent concert piece. As this movement is so familiar to audiences performers cannot afford to even go near playing a wrong note never mind actually playing one!