Georges Bizet


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'arlésienne Suites, Symphonie En Ut / Pons, Et Al
Release Date: 07/10/2007   Label: Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord  
Catalog: 1951675   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Pretre, Cossotto, Domingo, Van Dam, Et Al
Release Date: 05/23/2000   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1244   Number of Discs: 3
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Bizet: Carmen / Karajan, Bumbry, Vickers, Et Al
Release Date: 02/17/1998   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1151   Number of Discs: 3
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Bizet: Carmen / Bellezza, Stignani, Gigli, Rome Opera, Et Al
Release Date: 02/27/2001   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1278   Number of Discs: 2
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Bizet: Carmen / Verrett, Domingo, van Dam, Solti
Release Date: 09/03/2002   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1358   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Carmen: Habañera

Browse 26-50 of 177 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Great Opera
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501054 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Adrianne Pieczonka,  Bo Skovhus,  Renato Girolami,  Janusz Monarcha  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Will Humburg,  Alexander Rahbari,  Rico Saccani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Hungarian Radio Chorus,  Failoni Orchestra Budapest  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 29.
    Romance Espanol: Classical Spanish Songs & Arias
    Label: Star Classics   Catalog: 5637838950 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Carlos Guastavino,  Federico Garcia Lorca,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Cecilio Perera,  Conchita de Antunano,  R. Atlas,  Joseph Clark  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Arp,  J.P. Sullivan
    CD: $31.99
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  • 30.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 33.
    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 [Baritone Vocal] Prey,  Ruth-Margaret Pütz,  Franz Crass,  Annelies Burmeister  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Siegfried Kurz,  Giuseppe Patané,  Horst Stein  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 34.
    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: $13.99

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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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:  Elisabeth [Soprano Vocal] Turchi,  Scott Beard
    CD: $29.99
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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    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
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 41.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    Ne Me Refuse Pas - French Opera Arias / Marie-Nicole Lemieux
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5201 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Luigi Cherubini,  Jacques Halévy,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Nicole Lemieux
    Conductor:  Fabien Gabel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 44.
    Habanera / Elina Garanca
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001477702 Release Date: 10/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francisco Barbieri,  Georges Bizet,  Franz Lehár,  Michael Balfe  ... 
    Performer:  Elina Garanca,  Roberto Alagna,  Alessandro Milani,  J. M Gallardo Del Rey  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Mark Chichon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Milan,  Turin Teatro Regio Chorus
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  • 45.
    Géori Boué - Recordings 1947-1955
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10314 Release Date: 10/15/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Hector Berlioz,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Géori Boué
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Eternal Caballe
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61044 Release Date: 10/04/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  José Maria Cano,  Traditional,  Juan Manuel Serrat,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  J. A. Amargos,  Montserrat Caballé,  Gavyn Wright,  Ricardo Miralles  ... 
    Conductor:  José Maria Cano,  José Collado,  Ricardo Miralles,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $24.98
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  • 47.
    The Creators Of Verismo Vol. 1: Bellincioni, Pandolfini, And The Siberia Creator-recordings
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52062 Release Date: 10/01/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Arrigo Boito,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Gemma Belliconi,  Salvatore Cottone,  Angelica Pandolfini,  Amelia Pinto  ... 
    CD: $36.99
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  • 48.
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 2410 Release Date: 09/01/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Georges Bizet,  Gustave Charpentier
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra
    LP: $38.49
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  • 49.
    50 Best Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57531 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Cornelius Hauptmann,  Margareta Lilowa,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Ursula Kunz  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington,  Bernard Haitink,  Rafael Kubelik,  Peter Schneider  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 50.
    50 Best Romantic Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57555 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Georges Bizet,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Ann Murray,  Jessye Norman,  Han-Na Chang,  Maria Callas  ... 
    Conductor:  Sylvain Cambreling,  Leonard Slatkin,  Georges Prêtre,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    CD: $15.99
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