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: Carmen / Kaufmann, Kasarova, Welser-Most
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002188409   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Les Pecheurs De Perles / Fournet, Simoneau, Alarie
Release Date: 11/08/2011   Label: Guild  
Catalog: 2382/83   Number of Discs: 2
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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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Bizet: Carmen / Ozawa, Norman, Freni, Schicoff, Estes
Release Date: 08/07/1989   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 422366   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Carmen: Habañera

Browse 226-244 of 244 Available Recordings
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  • 226.
    Unvergessene Stimmen Der Wiener Staatsoper
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89401 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Hilde Konetzni,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Esther Réthy,  Set Svanholm  ... 
    On sale! $104.98
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  • 227.
    Opera - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66707 Release Date: 12/06/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Alexander Borodin,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Agnes Baltsa,  Leo Nucci,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Richard Tucker  ... 
    Conductor:  Ion Marin,  Riccardo Chailly,  Emerson Buckley,  Emil Tchakarov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Emilia Romagna Arturo Toscanini Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 228.
    Basic 100 Vol 52 - Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Karajan, Et Al
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68021 Release Date: 11/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Mirella Freni,  Leontyne Price,  Robert Merrill
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 229.
    Prima Voce - Opera Arias / Adelina Patti
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7840 Release Date: 09/02/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  James Hook,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Henry Bishop,  John Liptrott Hatton  ... 
    Performer:  Adelina Patti,  Alfredo Barili,  Lucien Fugère,  Landon Ronald  ... 
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  • 230.
    Prima Voce - Great Singers At La Scala, Milan
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7858 Release Date: 08/02/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Toti Dal Monte,  Francesco Tamagno,  Miguel Fleta,  Ezio Pinza  ... 
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  • 231.
    Classical Music For People Who Hate Classical Music
    Label: Classical Heritage   Catalog: 1212 Release Date: 06/09/1994   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Performer:  Hans-Christoph Becker-Foss,  Anna Lelkes,  Philippe Entremont,  Joseph Brezina  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Camerata Academica,  London Festival Orchestra,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra  ... 
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  • 232.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Karin Branzell
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89039 Release Date: 03/31/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Karin Branzell
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  • 233.
    Bizet: Carmen (Highlights)
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550727 Release Date: 01/28/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Doina Palade,  Giorgio Lamberti,  Alan Titus,  Graciela Alperyn
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava
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  • 234.
    Callas - La Divina
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54702 Release Date: 09/14/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Ebe Ticozzi,  Alfredo Kraus
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Georges Prêtre,  Antonino Votto,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 235.
    Prima Voce - Great Singers (1909-1938)
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7801 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Licinio Refice  ... 
    Performer:  Riccardo Stracciari,  Enrico Caruso,  Richard Tauber,  Claudia Muzio  ... 
    Conductor:  Giorgio Polacco,  Licinio Refice,  Giuseppe Antonicelli,  Lawrence Collingwood  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 236.
    Prima Voce - Supervia In Opera & Song
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7836 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jose Baldomir,  Georges Bizet,  Joaquin Valverde  ... 
    Performer:  Conchita Supervia,  Giovanni Manurita,  Carlo Scattola,  Gaston Micheletti  ... 
    Conductor:  Angelo Albergoni,  Gustav Cloëz,  Jose Juan Cadenas,  Antonio Capdevila  ... 
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  • 237.
    Opera's Greatest Moments - Domingo, Price, Caballe, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61440 Release Date: 11/10/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky,  Robert Merrill,  Placido Domingo,  Helen Donath  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Nello Santi,  Giuseppe Patané  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 238.
    More Of The World's Most Beautiful Melodies / Phillip Mccann
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 4502 Release Date: 07/28/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Phillip McCann,  Malcolm Hicks
    Conductor:  Gordon Langford,  Major Peter Parkes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Black Dyke Mills Band
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  • 239.
    Carmen Without Words / Andre Kostelanetz & His Orchestra
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 46287 Release Date: 11/10/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Mikhail Glinka,  Maurice Ravel,  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 240.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Karajan, Baltsa, Carreras
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 413322 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Agnes Baltsa,  Michel Marinpouille,  Alexander Malta  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus,  Schöneberg Boys Choir
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  • 241.
    La Voix Du Siècle - Maria Callas
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 49502 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 242.
    Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Karajan, Price, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60190 Release Date: 06/26/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Leontyne Price,  Mirella Freni,  Monique Linval  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 243.
    Opera Without Words - Arias For Orchestra
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 44999 Release Date: 11/20/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 244.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Ozawa, Norman, Freni, Shicoff
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 426040 Release Date: 08/07/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Neil Shicoff,  Jessye Norman,  Mirella Freni,  Jean Rigby  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  French National Radio Chorus
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