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 / Obraztsova, Domingo, Kleiber
Release Date: 04/24/2012   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 107263   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 / 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 26-50 of 98 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Bizet: Carmen / Piollet, Uria-monzon, Alagna, Poplavskaya, Schrott
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 707308 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Josep Miquel Ribot,  Francisco Vas,  Itxaro Mentxaka,  Erwin Schrott  ... 
    Conductor:  Marc Piollet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vivaldi Chorus,  Barcelona Teatro Liceu Orchestra,  Barcelona Teatro Liceu Chorus
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  • 27.
    Bizet: Carmen / Piollet, Uria-monzon, Alagna, Poplavskaya, Schrott [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 707404 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Alex Sanmartí,  Marc Canturri,  Béatrice Uria-Monzon,  Marina Poplavskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Marc Piollet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vivaldi Chorus,  Barcelona Teatro Liceu Orchestra,  Barcelona Teatro Liceu Chorus
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  • 28.
    World's Greatest Operas - Carmen, Magic Flute, Aida, Tosca [6-DVD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001609909 Release Date: 10/24/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Catherine Malfitano,  Richard Margison,  Peter Loehle  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Riccardo Muti,  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Opera Chorus,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 29.
    Magic Moments Of Opera
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 107515 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Isobel Buchanan,  Placido Domingo,  Elena Obraztsova,  Yuri Mazurok  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber,  Theodor Guschlbauer,  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 30.
    Bizet: Carmen / Migenes, Domingo, Raimondi
    Label: Olive Films (Dvd)   Catalog: 300 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Lillian Watson,  Susan Daniel,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Julia Migenes  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  ORTF Chorus,  Maîtrise de Radio France
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  • 31.
    Glyndebourne - Comedy & Tragedy
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1059 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer,  Massimo Giordano,  Alessandro Corbelli,  Sally Matthews  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski,  Maurizio Benini,  Philippe Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Glyndebourne Chorus,  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
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  • 32.
    Pathos, Passion & Patriotism - La Traviata, Carmen, Jackie O
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 33685 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Michael Daugherty
    Performer:  Saimir Pirgu,  Patrick Delcour,  Cristiano Cremonini,  Lorenzo Muzzi  ... 
    Conductor:  Paolo Arrivabeni,  Carlo Montanaro,  Christopher Franklin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre De L’Opéra Royal De Wallonie,  Chorus De L'Opéra Royal De Wallonie,  Macerata Opera Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 33.
    Bizet: Carmen / Beecham, De Los Angeles, Gedda, Hamel, Croisier
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 48215 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Bernard Plantey,  Michel Hamel,  Xavier Depraz,  Victoria de los Angeles  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra,  French National Radio Chorus,  Les Petits Chanteurs de St. François de Versailles
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  • 34.
    Bizet: Carmen / De Los Angeles, Gedda, Beecham
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 2503 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Bernard Plantey,  Michel Hamel,  Xavier Depraz,  Victoria de los Angeles  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra,  French National Radio Chorus,  Les Petits Chanteurs de St. François de Versailles
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  • 35.
    Placido Domingo - The Opera Collection [26-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001515202 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 26
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Geoffrey Pogson,  Jean Lainé,  Alicia Nafé,  Richard Amner  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Ion Marin,  Georges Prêtre,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
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  • 36.
    111 - The Collector's Edition 2 [56-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4779142 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Stuart Harling,  Robert Lloyd,  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Nelson,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerzy Semkow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus  ... 
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  • 37.
    Bizet: Carmen / Gardiner, Antonacci, Richards, Gillet, Cavallier
    Label: Fra Musica   Catalog: 4 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Francis Dudziak,  Andrew Richards,  Anne-Catherine Gillet,  Nicolas Cavallier  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monteverdi Choir,  Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique,  Maitrise des Hauts-de-Seine
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  • 38.
    Bizet: Carmen / Kegel, Cervena, Apreck, Croonen, Lauhofer
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300119 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Sigrid Kehl,  Ursula Engert,  Maria Croonen,  Sona Cervena  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Bizet: Carmen / Garanca, Alagna, Nezet-Seguin, Metropolitan Opera
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001431109 Release Date: 09/21/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Keith Miller,  Barbara Frittoli,  Roberto Alagna,  Elina Garanca  ... 
    Conductor:  Yannick Nézet-Séguin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
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  • 40.
    Bizet: Carmen / Maazel, Domingo, Migenes, Raimondi, Esham
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4682961 Release Date: 04/19/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Julia Migenes,  Ruggero Raimondi,  John-Paul Bogart  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Bizet: Carmen / Chung, Terfel, Bocelli, Domashenko
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001400202 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Marina Domashenko,  Andrea Bocelli,  Bryn Terfel,  Eva Mei
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Bizet: Carmen / Maria Callas, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 66717 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Robert Massard,  Claude Calès,  Jacques Pruvost,  Maurice Maievski  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jean Pesneaud Children's Choir,  René Duclos Chorus,  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Bizet: Carmen / Corelli, Freni, Guelfi, Simionato, Et Al
    Label: Bel Canto Society   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Renato Ercolani,  Guido Malfatti,  Giulietta Simionato  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
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  • 44.
    Bizet: Carmen / Dervaux, Simionato, Corelli, Freni, Et Al
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6571/2 Release Date: 06/30/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Loretta Di Lelio,  Mirella Freni,  Franco Corelli,  Giulietta Simionato  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Palermo Teatro Massimo Chorus,  Palermo Teatro Massimo Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Placido Domingo Live - Bizet: Carmen; Giordano: Fedora; Verdi: Il Trovatore
    Label: Tdk   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Adelina Scarabelli,  Ernesto Gavazzi,  Alessandro Corbelli,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Carlos Kleiber,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 46.
    Bizet: Carmen / Le Conte, Rubio, Simoneau, Rehfuss, Lopez, Et Al
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 378 Release Date: 04/28/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Pierrette Alarie,  Francine Arrauzau,  Heinz Rehfuss,  Consuela Rubio  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre-Michel Le Conte
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerts de Paris Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Bizet: Carmen / Surguladaze, Montanaro
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 33614 Release Date: 04/28/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Nino Surguladze,  Paola Gardina,  Irina Lungu,  Philippe Do  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Montanaro
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Macerata Opera Festival Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Giuseppina Zinetti
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89715 Release Date: 01/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Amilcare Ponchielli
    Performer:  Giuseppina Zinetti
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  • 49.
    Bizet: Carmen / Bonfitto, Taruntsov, Maschio
    Label: Kicco Classics   Catalog: 9016 Release Date: 12/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Silvia Dalla Benetta,  Giuseppe Altomare,  Angela Bonfitto,  Jevgenij Taruntsov  ... 
    Conductor:  Elisabetta Maschio
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Carlo Coccia Symphony Orchestra of Novara
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  • 50.
    Bizet: Carmen / Jordan, Von Otter, Glyndebourne Festival [Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7015 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Lisa Milne,  Laurent Naouri,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Marcus Haddock
    Conductor:  Philippe Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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