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: Seguidilla

Browse 101-125 of 142 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Stand-up Opera - Live From Ambassador Auditorium / B.j. Ward
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 255 Release Date: 02/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Félicien César David,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Gregory Jefferson,  Michael Sushel,  B.J. Ward
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  • 102.
    The Prima Voce Treasury Of Opera Vol 1
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1742 Release Date: 02/15/2000   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jules Massenet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Eidé Noréna,  Conchita Supervia,  Tito Schipa,  Riccardo Stracciari  ... 
    Conductor:  Henri Défosse,  Angelo Albergoni,  Giorgio Polacco,  Nils Grevillius  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odeon-Künstler Orchestra,  Rome Opera Teatro Reale Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 103.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Luise Willer
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89177 Release Date: 10/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Carl Bergner,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Luise Willer,  Carl Bergner,  Ludwig Kusche,  Henny Trundt  ... 
    Conductor:  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Ernst Viebig,  Hans Adolf Winter,  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Frankfurt Radio Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Recitals - An Evening With Maria Callas Vol Iii
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 2007 Release Date: 10/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre,  Georges Sebastian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra Hamburg,  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus
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  • 105.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Karajan, Price, Corelli, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63495 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Leontyne Price,  Mirella Freni,  Monique Linval  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir
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  • 106.
    Voce Di Donna / Denyce Graves
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63509 Release Date: 08/24/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jules Massenet,  Pietro Mascagni,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Denyce Graves
    Conductor:  Maurizio Barbacini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 107.
    Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Migenes, Domingo, Maazel
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45209 Release Date: 06/22/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Julia Migenes,  Faith Esham,  Placido Domingo,  Susan Daniel  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
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  • 108.
    Four Famous Italian Mezzos / Minghini-cattaneo, Elmo, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89954 Release Date: 04/20/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Cilèa,  Gioachino Rossini,  Jules Massenet,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Cloe Elmo,  Ebe Stignani,  Gianna Pederzini,  Gina Cigna  ... 
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  • 109.
    Bizet: Carmen - Excerpts / Lombard, Urai-monzon, Et Al
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 4853 Release Date: 01/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Béatrice Uria-Monzon,  Christian Papis,  Martine Olmeda,  Maryse Castets  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bordeaux Aquitaine Orchestra,  Bordeaux Grand-Theatre Chorus
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  • 110.
    Victoria De Los Angeles Live In Tokyo
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 18 Release Date: 11/24/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Rafael Calleja,  Georges Bizet,  Blas de Laserna,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Manuel Garcia-Morante
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  • 111.
    Cecilia Bartoli - Live In Italy / Thibaudet, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 455981 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Franz Schubert,  Xavier Montsalvatge,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca
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  • 112.
    Callas Edition - Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Prêtre, Paris
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66663 Release Date: 06/02/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Maria Callas,  Andréa Guiot,  Nadine Sautereau  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  René Duclos Chorus,  Jean Pesneaud Children's Choir
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  • 113.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Solti, Troyanos, Domingo, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458204 Release Date: 05/12/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Tatiana Troyanos,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Jane Berbié  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Haberdashers' Aske's School Boys Choir
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  • 114.
    Callas Edition - Callas À Paris - Arias 1
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66466 Release Date: 01/20/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustave Charpentier,  Jules Massenet,  Ambroise Thomas,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Four Famous Mezzos Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89977 Release Date: 10/21/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wilhelm Kienzl,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Georgine von Milinkovic,  Elisabeth Höngen,  Esther Réthy,  Elfriede Trötschel  ... 
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  • 116.
    Four German Contraltos Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89979 Release Date: 09/16/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Georges Bizet,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Margarete Klose,  Marcel Wittrisch,  Luise Willer,  Maria Olszewska  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Zweig,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Leo Blech  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 117.
    Four Famous Contraltos Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89985 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Emmi Leisner,  Karin Branzell,  Sigrid Onegin,  Rosette Anday
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  • 118.
    25 Opera Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8838 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  John Oakman,  Elvira Cirje-Druica,  Eugenia Moldoveanu,  Ludovic Spiess  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Bigg,  Mircea Popa,  Constantin Petrovici,  Rudolph Palmer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Symphony Orchestra,  Romanian Opera Chorus of Bucharest,  Romanian Opera Orchestra of Bucharest  ... 
    CD: $4.99
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  • 119.
    Aria - Eugenia Zukerman Plays Favorite Opera Arias
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3209 Release Date: 06/17/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Dennis Helmrich,  Allan Vogel,  Eugenia Zukerman
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  • 120.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Gianna Pederzini
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89146 Release Date: 05/20/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Geni Sadero,  Mario Pieraccini,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Gianna Pederzini,  Giorgio Favaretto,  Renato Zanelli
    Conductor:  Ugo Tansini,  Adriano Lualdi,  Dino Olivieri,  Carlo Sabajno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
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  • 121.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Lombard, Crespin, Py, Van Dam
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 13801 Release Date: 09/03/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Gilbert Py,  Régine Crespin,  Nadine Denize,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rhine Opera Chorus,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Maurice Children's Chorus
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  • 122.
    The Best Of Bizet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551191 Release Date: 07/30/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Graciela Alperyn,  Igor Morozov,  Janez Lotric
    Conductor:  Donald Johanos,  Alexander Rahbari,  Anthony Bramall,  Johannes Wildner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 123.
    Callas - La Divina - Complete
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65746 Release Date: 11/14/1995   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Tito Gobbi,  Maria Callas,  Nicolai Gedda,  Rolando Panerai  ... 
    Conductor:  Alceo Galliera,  Tullio Serafin,  Herbert von Karajan,  Antonino Votto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $43.98
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  • 124.
    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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  • 125.
    Prima Voce - Farrar In French Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7872 Release Date: 10/03/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Ambroise Thomas,  Charles Gounod,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Geraldine Farrar,  Fritz Kreisler,  Edmond Clément,  Antonio [Baritone Vocals] Scotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter B. Rogers,  Arturo Toscanini
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