Georges Bizet

Biography

Born: 1838   Died: 1875   Country: France   Period: Romantic
Known for one of the world's most popular operas, Carmen, Georges Bizet deserves attention as well for other works of remarkable melodic charm. Many of his works received cool receptions on their premieres but are now considered central to the repertory of classical music.

Bizet was born in Paris on October 25, 1838, and grew up in a happy, musical family that encouraged his talents. He learned to read music at the same time he learned to
Read more read letters, and equally well. Entering the Paris Conservatory before he was ten, he earned first prize in solfège within six months, a first prize in piano in 1852, and eventually, the coveted Prix de Rome in 1857 for his cantata Clovis et Clotilde. His teachers had included Marmontel for piano and Halévy for composition, but the greatest influence on him was Charles Gounod, of whom Bizet later said "You were the beginning of my life as an artist." Bizet himself hid away his Symphony in C, written when he was 17, feeling it was too much like its models, Gounod's symphonies. The two years spent in Rome after winning his prize, would be the only extensive time, and a greatly impressionable one, that Bizet would spend outside of Paris in his brief life. When he returned to Paris, he lost confidence in his natural talents and began to substitute dry Germanic or academic writing for his own developing idiom. He composed a one-act opera for production at the Opéra-Comique, but the theater's director engaged him to write a full-length opera instead, Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers). It was not a success at the time, but despite a few weaknesses, the work was revived in 1886, and its sheer beauty has earned it a respected position among the lesser-played operatic repertory. In 1863 Bizet's father bought land outside Paris where he built two bungalows, one of which Bizet frequently used as a compositional retreat. He began a friendship (apparently not a physical one) with a neighbor-woman named Céleste Mogador, a former actress, author, courtesan, circus rider, and dance-hall girl. She is said to have been the model for his masterpiece's title role of Carmen. Bizet earned his living as an accompanist and publishing house arranger. Meanwhile, he poured his creative efforts into an immense five-act opera in the grand tradition, Ivan IV, but it was never performed. This proved to be a pattern for the rest of his career. Bizet would work hard to get an opera produced, and even if he did, it would usually receive only a handful of performances. Bizet's corpus of unfinished works is large, and testifies to his unsettled existence and his difficulty in finding a place in France's notoriously hierarchical and conservative musical world. In 1869 Bizet married Geneviève Halévy, daughter of his teacher. The marriage did not turn out to be a happy one, primarily due to her family's history of mental illness. In 1872, Bizet's splendid incidental music for the play L'arlèsienne was poorly received, but when the composer assembled the music into an orchestral suite for a November performance, it found great acclaim. At last confident of his creative vision, Bizet was able to steer his final masterpiece through various obstacles, including the objections of singers and theater directors who were shocked by Carmen's subject matter. When the opera had its premiere on March 3, 1875, it was received barely well enough to hang on for future productions. Although it took audiences only a few weeks to catch on, Bizet died convinced it was a failure. Read less
Bizet: Carmen / Kaufmann, Kasarova, Welser-Most
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002188409   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Welser-most, Kaufmann, Kasarova, Rey [blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002188559   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Symphony In C, Jeux D'enfants, Variations Chromatiques / West,  San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
Release Date: 09/10/2013   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 131   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Pretre, Callas, Guiot, Gedda, Massard
Release Date: 09/23/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 634110   Number of Discs: 2
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Prima Voce - Pasquale Amato - Leoncavallo, Bizet, Et Al
Release Date: 02/23/1999   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 7897   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen: Suite no 1

Browse 26-50 of 55 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Bizet: L'arlesienne Suites, Symphony / Dutoit, Montreal Symphony
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 475190 Release Date: 09/02/2008  
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Toscanini Conducts Light Classics
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 6205 Release Date: 08/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johannes Brahms,  Bedrich Smetana,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 28.
    Bizet: Carmen Suite, L'Arlésienne Suites / Minkowski, Les Musiciens Du Louvre
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5130 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Lyon Opera Chorus
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  • 29.
    Bizet: L' Arlésienne; La Jolie Fille De Perth Suite; Carmen Suites / Marriner, Barenboim
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 5176492 Release Date: 04/18/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Louis Frémaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Die Großen Suiten Georges Bizet
    Label: Delta Ent.   Catalog: 772784 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
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  • 31.
    Triples - Bizet: Favourite Orchestral Works / Plasson, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 09414 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Jacques Noureddine
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Orféon Donostiarra
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  • 32.
    Bizet: Carmen And L'arlesienne Suites / Marriner, Lso
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412464 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Bizet: Carmen & L'arlesienne Orchestral Suites / Friedmann
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 433220 Release Date: 08/07/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Samuel Friedmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Open Road: Classics
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 55550 Release Date: 07/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Bergerich,  Dieter Goldmann,  Leonard Hokanson
    Conductor:  Sidney Lark,  Vladimir Petroschoff,  Ernst Delgado,  Sven Bengtson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Camerata Academica
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  • 35.
    Bizet: L'arlesienne Suites, Carmen Suite No 1 / Abbado
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000874602 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 36.
    French Orchestral Music - Bizet, Fauré, Etc / Beecham, Et Al
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 79985 Release Date: 03/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Gabriel Fauré,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Ravel, Bizet, Dukas, Berlioz / Sado, World Po
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5067 Release Date: 09/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Hector Berlioz,  Paul Dukas,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Yutaka Sado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  World Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Bizet: Symphony In C, Carmen Suites, Etc / Ozawa
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 86089 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Kraus, Raimondi & Ricciarelli In Concert / Coni, Valentini-terrani, Et Al
    Label: Imports (Dvd)   Catalog: 625477 Release Date: 01/08/2004  
    Composer:  Francesco Cilèa,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Alfredo Kraus,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Katia Ricciarelli,  Paolo Coni  ... 
    Conductor:  Gian Paolo Sanzogno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Madrid Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Romanza España / Burning River Brass
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 90316 Release Date: 11/26/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruperto Chapi,  Anthony DiLorenzo,  Enrique Granados,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Burning River Brass
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  • 41.
    Bizet: Carmen Suite; Grieg: Peer Gynt / Slatkin
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80048 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Viva Espana - Tarrega, Bizet, Albeniz, Et Al / Ozawa, Et Al
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469253 Release Date: 01/23/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Manuel de Falla,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Narciso Yepes,  Jean-Marc Luisada,  Dino Ciani,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Lorin Maazel,  Ernest Ansermet,  Louis Frémaux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra  ... 
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  • 43.
    The Monet Collection - Romantic Moments
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 315020 Release Date: 11/20/2000   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Mikhail Glinka,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Nikolai Portnov,  Irina Snegova,  Andrey Ryazanov,  Juriy Ivchenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Jansug Kakhidze,  Leonid Malyshev,  Viacheslav Suvorov,  Sergei Evgenin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Festival Symphony Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra "Muse"  ... 
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  • 44.
    Bizet: L'arlesienne Suites, Carmen Suites / Ormandy
    Label: Rca Victrola   Catalog: 60787 Release Date: 07/13/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Bernstein Century - Bizet: Carmen Suites, L'arlésienne Suites
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 63081 Release Date: 10/28/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  William Vacchiano,  David Nadien,  Julius Baker
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 46.
    Shchedrin: Carmen Ballet; Bizet: Carmen Suite / James DePreist, Monte Carlo Philharmonic
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3208 Release Date: 11/14/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Rodion Shchedrin,  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  James DePreist
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Bizet's Dream - Original Soundtrack
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 69289 Release Date: 08/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 4019 Release Date: 02/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Maurice Ravel
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  • 49.
    Bizet: L'arlesienne-suites 1 & 2, Carmen-suite / Karajan
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415106 Release Date: 02/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Malmö Symphony Orchestra / James Depreist
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 570 Release Date: 10/12/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hilding Rosenberg,  Erik Satie,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Hugo Alfvén  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Kontra
    Conductor:  James DePreist
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malmö Symphony Orchestra
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