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: Complete Orchestral Works / Batiz
Release Date: 08/28/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94404   Number of Discs: 3
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Bizet: Symphony In C, L'arlesienne Suites / Delacote, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/10/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28480   Number of Discs: 1
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Prokofiev: Peter & the Wolf; Saint-Saens, Bizet / Gielgud, Licata
Release Date: 10/13/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28450   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen Suite  / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 09/08/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28020   Number of Discs: 1
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Classiques Francais - Works By Dukas, Bizet, Francaix, Ravel / Clamor
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Genuin Musikproduction  
Catalog: 13291   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen

Browse 51-75 of 98 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Bizet: Carmen / Pappano, Antonacci, Kaufmann [Blu-ray]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001216859 Release Date: 11/18/2008  
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Ildebrando D'Arcangelo,  Anna Caterina Antonacci,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Norah Amsellem  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 52.
    Bizet: Carmen / Pappano, Kaufmann, Antonacci
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001216709 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Matthew Rose,  Ildebrando D'Arcangelo,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Norah Amsellem  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 53.
    Paperback Opera - Bizet: Carmen / Dervaux, Madeira, Filacuridi, Roux, Geay, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 20052 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Vivette Barthelemy,  Jean-Christophe Benoit,  Michel Roux,  Robert Geay  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Dervaux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pasdeloup Concert Association Orchestra
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  • 54.
    A Night at the Opera - The World's Greatest Operas
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9810 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Sesto Bruscantini,  Franco Calabrese,  Mirella Freni,  Alessandro Maddalena  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Sir Georg Solti,  Claudio Abbado,  Nino Verchi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Chorus Rome,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
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  • 55.
    French Opera Masterworks
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9802 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Oralia Dominguez,  Jon Vickers,  Ernest Blanc,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean Fournet,  Sir Georg Solti,  Georges Prêtre,  Anton Guadagno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
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  • 56.
    Placido Domingo / 6 Complete Operas (14-disc Set)
    Label: Bravissimo Opera Library   Catalog: 9903 Release Date: 10/16/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Francesco Cilèa,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Giuliano Cianella,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Dano Raffanti,  Giuseppe Morresi  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlos Kleiber,  Gianfranco Masini,  Sir Georg Solti,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  French National Radio Orchestra  ... 
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  • 57.
    Maria Callas - The Complete Studio Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 95918 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  David Sellar,  Giorgio Tadeo,  Tito Gobbi  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre,  Tullio Serafin,  Antonino Votto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 58.
    Bizet: Carmen / Cohen, Visconti, Thill, Guénot
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 27809 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Raymonde Visconti,  Georges Thill,  Marthe Nespoulous,  Louis Guenot  ... 
    Conductor:  Elie Cohen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Chorus,  Orchestre de Paris
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  • 59.
    Bizet: Carmen / Frühbeck De Burgos, Bumbrey, Vickers
    Label: Emi Classics For Pleasure   Catalog: 67696 Release Date: 01/23/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Viorica Cortez,  Jon Vickers,  Mirella Freni,  Grace Bumbry  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois,  Paris Opera Chorus,  Paris Opera Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Met Exclusive - Placido Domingo
    Label: Tdk   Catalog: 2103001 Release Date: 11/01/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Placido Domingo
    DVD: $84.49
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  • 61.
    Bizet: Carmen / Herbert Kegel, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 3295 Release Date: 01/24/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Rolf Apreck,  Robert Lauhöfer,  Harald Neukirch,  Günther Leib  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Leipzig Radio Chorus
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  • 62.
    Bizet: Carmen / Karajan, Simionato, Gedda, Vienna So
    Label: Andante   Catalog: 3100 Release Date: 11/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Luisa Ribacchi,  Nicolai Gedda,  Hilde Gueden,  Michel Roux  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna State Conservatory Children's Choir
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  • 63.
    Edition Opera - Bizet: Carmen / Marinov, Milcheva, Et Al
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 51183 Release Date: 11/01/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Alexandrina Milcheva,  Nicolai Ghiuselev,  Nikola Nikolov,  Lilyana Vassileva
    Conductor:  Ivan Marinov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia National Opera Chorus,  Sofia National Opera Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Bizet: Carmen / Krasteva, Antonenko, Märzendorfer, Et Al
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2054528 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Nadia Krasteva,  Aleksandrs Antonenko,  Sebastian Holecek
    Conductor:  Ernst Märzendorfer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brno National Theater Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Bizet: Carmen / Haitink, Ewing, McCauley, et al
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2843 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Marie McLaughlin,  Maria Ewing,  Barry McCauley,  David Holloway
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Bizet: Carmen / Solti, Domingo, Verrett, Te Kanawa, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 7010 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Shirley Verrett,  Placido Domingo,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Richard Van Allan  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 67.
    Bizet: Carmen / Karajan, Bumbry, Vickers, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000435209 Release Date: 06/14/2005  
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Milen Paunov,  Anton Diakov,  Julia Hamari,  Grace Bumbry  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 68.
    Bizet: Carmen / Abbado, Berganza, Domingo, Cotrubas, Et Al
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 000402902 Release Date: 03/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Yvonne Kenny,  Alicia Nafé,  Gordon Sandison,  Geoffrey Pogson  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus
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  • 69.
    Label: Imports   Catalog: 964810 Release Date: 03/01/2005  
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
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  • 70.
    Gemini - Bizet: Carmen / De Burgos, Bumbrey. Vickers
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85505 Release Date: 06/01/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Jon Vickers,  Mirella Freni,  Éliane Lublin,  Viorica Cortez  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus,  Les Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois
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  • 71.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 918 Release Date: 04/27/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Giulietta Simionato,  Nicolai Gedda,  Hilde Gueden,  Michel Roux
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 72.
    Bizet: Carmen / Corelli, Amparan (1956)
    Label: Hardy Classics   Catalog: 4013 Release Date: 11/11/2003  
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Anselmo Colzani,  Franco Corelli,  Belan Amparan
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  • 73.
    Bizet: Carmen / Lombard, Uria-monzon, Papis, Et Al
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 4964 Release Date: 11/04/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Christian Papis,  Vincent le Texier,  Maryse Castets,  Martine Olmeda  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bordeaux Aquitaine Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Bizet: Carmen / Jordan, Von Otter, Glyndebourne Festival
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 868 Release Date: 03/18/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Laurent Naouri,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Marcus Haddock,  Lisa Milne
    Conductor:  Philippe Jordan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Opera In English - Bizet: Carmen / Parry, Bardon, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3091 Release Date: 03/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Mary Plazas,  Patricia Bardon,  Julian Gavin,  Mary Hegarty  ... 
    Conductor:  David Parry
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New London Children's Choir,  Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
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