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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 / Krasteva, Antonenko, Märzendorfer, Et Al
Release Date: 10/18/2005   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2054528   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: L'Arlesienne Suites, Faure, Gounod / Yamada, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Release Date: 11/19/2013   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186358   Number of Discs: 1
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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: L'arlésienne, Carmen - Suites / Bramall, Slovak Po
Release Date: 06/30/1992   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550061   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: L'arlésienne: Suite no 1

Browse 26-50 of 59 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Basics 25-cd Boxset
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 186002 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    Bizet: L'arlésienne Suites, Symphonie En Ut / Pons, Et Al
    Label: Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord   Catalog: 1951675 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Josep Pons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Granada City Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Bizet: L'arlesienne Suites, Carmen Suite No 1 / Abbado
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1153994 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Weekend Classics - A Bizet Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000658202 Release Date: 07/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Placido Domingo,  Alicia Nafé,  Yvonne Kenny  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Bastille Opera Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Bizet : Symphony No. 1, L'arlesienne Suite Nos 1 & 2 / Munch, Gerhardt, Rpo
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 4090 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt,  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Bizet: L'arlesienne Suites 1 & 2, Symphony / Lombard, Strasbourg Philharmonic
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4620822 Release Date: 08/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Bizet: Symphony No 1, Etc;  Messiaen / Stokowski
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 242 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Olivier Messiaen
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 39.
    Paul Paray Conducts French Orchestral Music (5 CD Set)
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 000337602 Release Date: 11/09/2004   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Marcel Dupré
    Conductor:  Paul Paray
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Bizet: Carmen Suite No 1 & 2, Etc / Tortelier, Et Al
    Label: Chandos Collect   Catalog: 6693 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Yan Pascal Tortelier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ulster Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Bizet - Greatest Hits
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000233802 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Léopold Simoneau,  René Bianco,  Ileana Cotrubas  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Antal Doráti,  Jean Fournet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Singers,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Bizet: L'arlésienne Suites, Etc / José Serebrier
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1305 Release Date: 03/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  José Serebrier,  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  José Serebrier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Bizet: L'arlesienne Suites, Carmen Suites
    Label: United Multimedia   Catalog: 6504 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
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  • 44.
    Bizet: Symphony In C, L'arlesienne Suites / Cluytens, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1235 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
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  • 45.
    101 Great Orchestral Classics
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550001 Release Date: 01/25/2002   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Erik Satie,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    Bizet: Symphony in C, L'Arlesienne / Beecham, Royal PO
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67259 Release Date: 03/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Bizet: L'arlésienne Suites, Symphonie En Ut / Pons, Et Al
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 901675 Release Date: 02/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Josep Pons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Granada City Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Bizet: Symphony In C, Etc / Neville Marriner, Asmf
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73709 Release Date: 01/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 50.
    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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