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: L'arlesienne Suites, Carmen Suite No 1 / Abbado
Release Date: 06/12/2007   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 000874602   Number of Discs: 1
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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 26-50 of 257 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Trumpet Fiesta: A Celebration Of Rafael Mendez
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 585 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Zequinha de Abreu,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Mexican Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Arturo Sandoval,  Miriam Hickman,  David Hickman,  Wayne Bergeron  ... 
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  • 27.
    Music & Painters - Music Of The Era Of Monet, Chagall, Courbet & Picasso
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5283 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Gastinel,  Daniel Blumenthal,  Marie-Nicole Lemieux,  Noel Lee  ... 
    Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Alain Lombard,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kasbek Ensemble,  Russian State Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
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  • 28.
    Classical Hits Of The Cinema
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 30756 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Piotr Anderszewski,  Christian Zacharias
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Lorin Maazel,  Andrew Litton,  Piotr Anderszewski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Homage To Maria Callas / Angela Gheorghiu
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 84377 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Luigi Cherubini  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  James Valenti
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 30.
    The Spanish Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 671885 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Enrique Granados,  Francisco Tarrega,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Sharon Isbin,  Jean-François Heisser,  Wolfgang Lendle,  Jennifer Larmore  ... 
    Conductor:  José Serebrier,  Armin Jordan,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Alain Lombard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pro Cantione Antiqua
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  • 31.
    Romance Espanol: Classical Spanish Songs & Arias
    Label: Star Classics   Catalog: 5637838950 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Fernando J. Obradors,  Carlos Guastavino,  Federico Garcia Lorca  ... 
    Performer:  Cecilio Perera,  Conchita de Antunano,  R. Atlas,  Joseph Clark  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Arp,  J.P. Sullivan
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  • 32.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 828662 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  Nancy Argenta,  Crispian Steele-Perkins,  Gudrun Jahn,  Barbara Hendricks  ... 
    Conductor:  Gyorgy Fischer,  Kirk Trevor,  Louis Langrée,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 33.
    Best Soprano Arias 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 80442 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  Nancy Argenta,  Crispian Steele-Perkins,  Gudrun Jahn,  Barbara Hendricks  ... 
    Conductor:  Gyorgy Fischer,  Kirk Trevor,  Louis Langrée,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 34.
    Homage To Maria Callas / Angela Gheorghiu [Deluxe Edition]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 31509 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Luigi Cherubini  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  James Valenti
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Late Night Classics: Music For Two Guitars
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1255 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Enrique Granados,  Gaspar Sanz,  Martin Vishnik,  Sam Piha  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Vishnik,  Sam Piha
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  • 36.
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 106 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Yoshikazu Mera,  Victoria Anderson,  Charles K.L. Davis  ... 
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  • 37.
    The Callas Effect [2 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 84356 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Renato Ercolani,  Carlo Forti
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Franco Ghione,  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Lisbon San Carlos National Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 38.
    The Callas Effect [Standard Edition]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 84362 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Renato Ercolani,  Carlo Forti
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Franco Ghione,  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Lisbon San Carlos National Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 39.
    Popular Opera Arias
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300250 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Hermann Prey,  Ruth-Margaret Pütz,  Franz Crass,  Annelies Burmeister  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Siegfried Kurz,  Giuseppe Patané,  Horst Stein  ... 
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  • 40.
    Classics At The Movies
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764553 Release Date: 08/16/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Giacomo Puccini,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Isador Goodman,  Yvonne Kenny,  Jane Sheldon,  Lauris Elms  ... 
    Conductor:  Patrick Thomas,  Wlodzimierz Kamirski,  William Motzing,  David Measham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantillation,  Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players
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  • 41.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Alagna, Gheorgiu, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94868 Release Date: 06/21/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  David Alagna,  Inva Mula-Tchako,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Les Elements Chamber Choir
    CD: $12.99
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  • 42.
    The Opera Album 2011
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001566102 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Anna Netrebko,  Andrea Bocelli,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Gianandrea Noseda,  Zubin Mehta,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
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  • 43.
    Amour, Amor, Amore
    Label: Elisabeth Turchi   Catalog: 5637784687 Release Date: 06/07/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  George Frideric Handel,  Giovanni Paisiello,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Scott Beard,  Elisabeth [Soprano (Vocal)] Turchi
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  • 44.
    Melodies Of Love And Death - Opera Senza Parole / Osiris Trio
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72373 Release Date: 06/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Osiris Trio
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  • 45.
    Classical 2011
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97577 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gioachino Rossini,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Placido Domingo,  Joyce DiDonato,  Geoffrey Parsons  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Kohn,  Eduardo Müller,  Robert Prizeman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble,  Quatuor Ebène
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  • 46.
    New Year's Eve Concert 2010  / Garanca, Dudamel, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001529409 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Elina Garanca
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit: Jeanne Gerville-reache
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89737 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Jeanne Gerville-Réache,  Charles Cahier
    Conductor:  Nils Grevillius
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  • 48.
    Sophie Braslau & Richard Crooks - Recordings 1914-1929
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10038 Release Date: 11/22/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Gabriele Sibella,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Crooks,  Sophie Braslau,  Frances Alda
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  • 49.
    Opera Arias / Marie-Josee Lord
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 2649 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Alfredo Catalani,  Michel Berger,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Josée Lord
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Pietraroia
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre Métropolitain
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  • 50.
    Karin Branzell & Martin Oehmann - Recordings 1924-1929
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10037 Release Date: 11/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wilhelm Kienzl,  Richard Wagner,  Daniel-François Auber,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Karin Branzell,  Carl Martin Oehmann
    ArkivCD $16.99
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