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: The Pearl Fishers Highlights In English / Cohen
Release Date: 09/30/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3156   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen: Habañera

Browse 226-250 of 259 Available Recordings
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  • 226.
    Label: Curb   Catalog: 78050 Release Date: 10/31/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Sona Cervena,  Rolf Apreck,  Ursula Enger,  Sigrid Kehl
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  • 227.
    The Best Of Opera Vol 2
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553167 Release Date: 06/27/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Georges Bizet  ... 
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  • 228.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Margarete Klose
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89082 Release Date: 06/20/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Marcel Wittrisch,  Margarete Klose,  Susanne Fischer,  Therese Gerson  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Zweig,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Franz Alfred Schmidt,  Gerhard Steeger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
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  • 229.
    Bizet - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64594 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Beverly Sills,  Richard Tucker,  Agnes Baltsa,  José Carreras  ... 
    Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz,  Pierre Dervaux,  Placido Domingo,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Tallis Chamber Choir  ... 
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  • 230.
    Brigitte Fassbaender - Operatic Recital / Hans Graf
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 96841 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender
    Conductor:  Hans Graf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 231.
    Famous Opera Arias / Marjana Lipovsek, Giuseppe Patané
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 179891 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Marjana Lipovsek
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 232.
    Immortal Voices Of The Vienna Opera
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89999 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Slezak,  Hilde Konetzni,  Hans Hermann Nissen,  Franz Völker  ... 
    Conductor:  Manfred Gurlitt,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Franz Alfred Schmidt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 233.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Barbara Kemp
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89056 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Strauss,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Kemp,  Delia Reinhardt,  Marion Claire
    Conductor:  Leo Blech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 234.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Conchita Supervia
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89023 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Strauss,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Conchita Supervia,  Ines Maria Ferraris,  Giovanni Manurita,  Anita Apolloni  ... 
    Conductor:  Angelo Albergoni
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 235.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Dusolina Giannini
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89044 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dusolina Giannini
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  • 236.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Irene Minghini Cattaneo
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89008 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Irene Minghini-Cattaneo,  Delia De Martis,  Lionello Cecil,  Guglielmo Masini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Carlo Sabajno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 237.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Rossette Anday
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89046 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Rosette Anday,  Herbert Dawson
    Conductor:  Karl Alwin,  Robert Heger,  Julius Prüwer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 238.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Sigrid Onegin
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89027 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Sigrid Onegin
    Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon,  Leo Blech,  Kurt Singer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Doctor's Chorus
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  • 239.
    The Art Of Emmi Leisner
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89210 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Traditional,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Raucheisen,  Emmi Leisner,  Kurt Grosse
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pozniak Trio
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  • 240.
    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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  • 241.
    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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  • 242.
    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
    Recommendation
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  • 243.
    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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  • 244.
    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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  • 245.
    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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  • 246.
    The Best Of Bizet
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 442272 Release Date: 05/10/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Marie-Francoise Bucquet,  Albert Lance,  Jane Rhodes  ... 
    Conductor:  Roberto Benzi,  Uwe Christian Harrer,  Jean Fournet,  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 247.
    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
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 248.
    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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  • 249.
    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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  • 250.
    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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