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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: L'Arlesienne Suites, Faure, Gounod / Yamada, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Release Date: 11/19/2013   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186358   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: Carmen / Welser-most, Kaufmann, Kasarova, Rey [blu-ray]
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002188559   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: L'arlésienne, Carmen - Suites / Bramall, Slovak Po
Release Date: 06/30/1992   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550061   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen: Seguidilla

Browse 26-50 of 132 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Horne, Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457901 Release Date: 06/19/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Marcia Baldwin,  Colette Boky,  Marilyn Horne,  James McCracken  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manhattan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus
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  • 27.
    Ryan Anthony With Gary Beard
    Label: Opening Day   Catalog: 9374 Release Date: 05/22/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Newton,  John Stanley,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Ryan Anthony,  Gary Beard
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  • 28.
    Ryan Anthony With Gary Beard
    Label: Opening Day   Catalog: 9373 Release Date: 05/04/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gottfried Reiche,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Ryan Anthony,  Gary Beard
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  • 29.
    Spanish Heroines - Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Massenet, Bizet, Etc / Silvia Tro Santafe, Et Al
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 152 Release Date: 03/31/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Silvia Tro Santafe
    Conductor:  Julian Reynolds
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Navarra Symphony Orchestra,  Orfeon Pamplones Chorus
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  • 30.
    Airs, Melodies, Oratorios / Lucienne Delvaux, Et Al
    Label: Musique En Wallonie   Catalog: 739 Release Date: 11/25/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Hector Berlioz,  Edouard Lalo,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Lucienne Delvaux
    Conductor:  Edgar Doneux,  Francis Travis,  Johannes den Hertog,  Jean Fournet  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Palace of Fine Arts Orchestra,  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hilversum Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 31.
    The Complete Conchita Supervia Vol 3 - Parlophone And Odeon 1930-1932
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52060 Release Date: 10/12/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modesto Pomero,  Federico Longás Torres,  Juan Manén,  D'Hardelot  ... 
    Performer:  Conchita Supervia,  Pedro Vallribera,  Ivor Newton,  Alejandro Vilalta  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Minssart,  Gustav Cloëz,  Unknown,  Antonio Capdevila
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Nan Merriman
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89706 Release Date: 06/17/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Nan Merriman,  Elizabeth Fretwell,  Alexander Young,  Jan Peerce  ... 
    Conductor:  Frieder Weissmann,  Walter Susskind,  Arturo Toscanini,  Pierre Monteux  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  NBC Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 33.
    Complete Recordings Of Marie Delna, Selected Recordings Of Jeanne Marié De L'isle
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52056 Release Date: 05/12/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Cécile Louise Chaminade,  Reynaldo Hahn,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Jeanne Marié De l'isle,  Léon Beyle,  Hector Dufranne,  Marie Delna  ... 
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  • 34.
    Christa Ludwig - Arias & Scenes - Live Recordings 1955-1994
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 758083 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Hans Pfitzner  ... 
    Performer:  Christa [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Ludwig,  Dagmar Hermann,  Walter Berry,  Emmy Loose  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm,  Alberto Erede,  Herbert von Karajan,  Georges Prêtre  ... 
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  • 35.
    Marilyn Horne - The Complete Decca Recitals
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001089302 Release Date: 04/15/2008   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Al Piantadosi,  Hugo Wolf,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Martin Katz,  Osian Ellis
    Conductor:  Henry Lewis,  Carl Davis,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Opera Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 36.
    The Art Of Christa Ludwig
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 17608 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Gioachino Rossini,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Christa Ludwig,  Gerald Moore,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Klemperer,  Herbert von Karajan,  Tullio Serafin,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 37.
    Mario Del Monaco At The Bolshoi
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4448 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Ruggero Leoncavallo
    Performer:  Ivan Ionov,  Nikolay Zaharov,  Mario Del Monaco,  Philip Fokin  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Melik-Pashayev,  Basiliev Tieskovini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra,  Bolshoi Theatre Chorus
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 38.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 757293 Release Date: 03/04/2008  
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Alfredo Catalani,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
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  • 39.
    101 Opera Masterpieces, Vol. 1 [box Set]
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 9528671 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Biserka Cvejik,  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Ruza Baldani  ... 
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  • 40.
    Renata Scotto Live In Budapest
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4430 Release Date: 02/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Renata Scotto
    Conductor:  Ervin Lukács
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $23.99
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  • 41.
    Instant Classics - Bizet: Carmen (Highlights)
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5103 Release Date: 11/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Christian Papis,  Vincent Le Texier,  Maryse Castets,  Béatrice Uria-Monzon  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bordeaux-Aquitaine National Orchestra
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  • 42.
    The Eternal Maria Callas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 00720 Release Date: 11/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
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  • 43.
    Maria Callas - The Complete Studio Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 95918 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  David Sellar,  Giorgio Tadeo,  Tito Gobbi  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre,  Tullio Serafin,  Antonino Votto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Paris Opera Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 44.
    Victòria Dels Angels Al Palau De La Música Catalana
    Label: Columna Musica   Catalog: 175 Release Date: 09/18/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Traditional,  Georges Bizet,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Victoria de los Angeles,  Manuel García Morante
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  • 45.
    Maria Callas - Opera Highlights - Bellini, Bizet, Verdi, Etc
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97104 Release Date: 08/28/2007   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Ettore Bastianini,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Giuseppe Zampieri  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Tullio Serafin,  Victor De Sabata,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
    CD: $54.49
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  • 46.
    The One And Only - Opera Arias / Maria Callas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 96341 Release Date: 08/28/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Jules Massenet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Anna Maria Canali,  Jane Berbié,  Nadine Sautereau  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno,  Tullio Serafin,  Franco Ghione  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra,  Society of the Conservatory Concerts Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 47.
    Oralia Dominguez, Mezzo-Soprano
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4776614 Release Date: 08/14/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet,  Francesco Cilèa,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Oralia Dominguez,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Ivan Sardi,  Gabor Carelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  János Kulka,  Richard Kraus,  Ferenc Fricsay
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  • 48.
    Régine Crespin - Prima Donna In Paris
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000830102 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Hector Berlioz,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Régine Crespin
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard,  Georges Sebastian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $23.99
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  • 49.
    Grace Bumbry In Concert
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4402 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jules Massenet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry
    Conductor:  Massimo Pradella
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
    On sale! $19.95
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  • 50.
    Maria Callas 100 Best Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82258 Release Date: 01/16/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Rolando Panerai,  Angelo Mercuriali,  Nicola Rossi-Lemeni  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Antonino Votto,  Nicola Rescigno,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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