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 solfčge 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 pęcheurs 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 Genevičve 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'arlčsienne 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 / Piollet, Uria-Monzon, Alagna
Release Date: 05/27/2016   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 750208   Number of Discs: 2
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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 / Rice, Hymel, Carydis
Release Date: 03/25/2016   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1197   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Uria-Monzon, Alagna, Piollet, Gran Teatre del Liceu [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 05/27/2016   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 750304   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Jordan, Von Otter, Glyndebourne Festival
Release Date: 03/18/2003   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 868   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Carmen

Browse 1-25 of 89 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4
  • 1.
    Carmen / Sidorova
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002498102 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Michael Abramovich,  Itamar Doari,  Ksenija Sidorova,  Reentko Dirks
    Conductor:  Sascha Goetzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nuevo Mundo,  Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Bizet: Carmen / Piollet, Uria-Monzon, Alagna
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 750208 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Josep Miquel Ribot,  Francisco Vas,  Itxaro Mentxaka,  Erwin Schrott  ... 
    Conductor:  Marc Piollet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vivaldi Chorus,  Gran Teatre del Liceu
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  • 3.
    Bizet: Carmen / Uria-Monzon, Alagna, Piollet, Gran Teatre del Liceu [Blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 750304 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Alex Sanmartí,  Marc Canturri,  Béatrice Uria-Monzon,  Marina Poplavskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Marc Piollet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vivaldi Chorus,  Gran Teatre del Liceu
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  • 4.
    Viscera, Carmen, Afternoon of a Faun & Pas de deux / Royal Ballet
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1212 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Liebermann,  Georges Bizet,  Claude Debussy,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Robert Clark
    Conductor:  Emmanuel Plasson,  Martin Yates
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Viscera, Carmen, Afternoon of a Faun & Pas de deux / Royal Ballet [Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7202 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lowell Liebermann,  Georges Bizet,  Claude Debussy,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Robert Clark
    Conductor:  Emmanuel Plasson,  Martin Yates
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Bizet: Carmen / Migenes, Domingo, Maazel, Orchestre National de France
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 555529 Release Date: 05/20/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Faith Esham,  Julia Migenes,  Ruggero Raimondi
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra,  Maîtrise de Radio France
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  • 7.
    Bizet: Carmen / Rice, Hymel, Carydis
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1197 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Paula Murrihy,  Bryan Hymel,  David Kimberg,  Maija Kovalevska  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantinos Carydis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 8.
    Bizet: Carmen / Rice, Hymel, Carydis [Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7188 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Paula Murrihy,  Bryan Hymel,  David Kimberg,  Maija Kovalevska  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantinos Carydis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 9.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 10.
    Bizet: Carmen / Nanasi, Arena Di Verona Orchestra and Chorus
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 121 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Federico Longhi,  Irina Lungu,  Carlos Alvarez,  Ekaterina Semenchuk  ... 
    Conductor:  Henrik Nánási
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verona Teatro Arena Orchestra,  Verona Teatro Arena Chorus
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  • 11.
    Bizet: Carmen / Nanasi, Arena Di Verona Orchestra And Chorus [blu-ray]
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 421 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Cristina Melis,  Carlo Ventre,  Ekaterina Semenchuk,  Carlos Alvarez  ... 
    Conductor:  Henrik Nánási
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verona Teatro Arena Orchestra,  Verona Teatro Arena Chorus
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  • 12.
    Jonas Kaufmann - Carmen, Tosca, Faust, Werther
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002359909 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Emily Magee,  Marina Poplavskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Paolo Carignani,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin,  Michel Plasson,  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Orchestra,  Zurich Opera House Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus  ... 
    DVD: $49.99
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  • 13.
    Jonas Kaufmann: Carmen - Tosca - Faust - Werther
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002360059 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Emily Magee,  Marina Poplavskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Paolo Carignani,  Yannick Nézet-Séguin,  Michel Plasson,  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Orchestra,  Zurich Opera House Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus  ... 
    Blu-ray Video: $76.99
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  • 14.
    Karajan - The Opera Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002328102 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Franz Lehár,  Franz von Suppé  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Zednik,  Christine Barbaux,  Katia Ricciarelli,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus,  Schöneberg Boys Choir  ... 
    CD: $279.49
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  • 15.
    Bizet: Carmen / Kleiber, Domingo, Obraztsova, Mazurok
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109096 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Isobel Buchanan,  Placido Domingo,  Elena Obraztsova,  Yuri Mazurok
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Bizet: Carmen / Kleiber, Domingo, Obraztsova, Mazurok [blu-ray]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109097 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Isobel Buchanan,  Placido Domingo,  Elena Obraztsova,  Yuri Mazurok
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Bizet: Carmen / Horne, McCracken, Bernstein
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186216 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Adriana Maliponte,  Marcia Baldwin,  Marilyn Horne,  James McCracken  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Manhattan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus
    SuperAudio CD: $35.49
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  • 18.
    Bizet: Carmen / Kaufmann, Kasarova, Welser-Most
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188409 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Isabel Rey,  Sen Guo,  Kresimir Strazanac,  Vesselina Kasarova  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Chorus
    DVD: $32.99
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  • 19.
    Bizet: Carmen / Welser-most, Kaufmann, Kasarova, Rey [blu-ray]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188559 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Isabel Rey,  Sen Guo,  Kresimir Strazanac,  Vesselina Kasarova  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz Welser-Möst
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Opera House Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $43.99
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  • 20.
    Bizet: Carmen / Pretre, Callas, Guiot, Gedda, Massard
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634110 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Andréa Guiot,  Nadine Sautereau,  Jean-Paul Vauquelin,  Maria Callas  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prętre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  René Duclos Chorus,  Jean Pesneaud Children's Choir
    CD: $19.99
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  • 21.
    Maria Callas Remastered - Complete Studio Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633991 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Richard Wagner,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Gianni Poggi,  Fedora Barbieri,  Paolo Silveri  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Basile,  Antonino Votto,  Gabriele Santini,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Italian Radio Chorus Turin,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $287.49
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  • 22.
    Leonard Bernstein Collection Vol 1 [59 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 2027800 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Leonard Bernstein,  Benjamin Britten  ... 
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Kurt Moll,  Hanna Schwarz  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Concert Choir,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 23.
    Bizet: Carmen / Castles-onion, Shaham, Popov, Swadivong, Jones, Car
    Label: Opera Australia   Catalog: 56042 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Andrew Jones,  Dmitri Popov,  Rinat Shaham,  Nicole Car  ... 
    Conductor:  Brian Castles-Onion
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra,  Opera Australia Chorus
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 24.
    Bizet: Carmen / Castles-onion, Shaham, Popov, Swadivong, Jones, Car
    Label: Opera Australia   Catalog: 56043 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Nicole Car,  Rinat Shaham,  Dmitri Popov,  Andrew Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  Brian Castles-Onion
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra,  Opera Australia Chorus
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  • 25.
    Bizet: Carmen / Jordan, Von Otter, Glyndebourne Festival
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 6011 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Lisa Milne,  Marcus Haddock,  Laurent Naouri
    Conductor:  Philippe Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
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