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 solfčge 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 pęcheurs 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 Genevičve 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'arlčsienne 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 / 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: Symphony In C, Jeux D'enfants, Variations Chromatiques / West,  San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
Release Date: 09/10/2013   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 131   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Pretre, Callas, Guiot, Gedda, Massard
Release Date: 09/23/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 634110   Number of Discs: 2
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Prima Voce - Pasquale Amato - Leoncavallo, Bizet, Et Al
Release Date: 02/23/1999   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 7897   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen: Seguidilla

Browse 51-75 of 142 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Oralia Dominguez, Mezzo-Soprano
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4776614 Release Date: 08/14/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet,  Francesco Cilča,  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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  • 52.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4765963 Release Date: 05/14/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Sally-Anne Russell
    Conductor:  Nicholas Milton
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  • 53.
    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
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  • 54.
    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 Cilča  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry
    Conductor:  Massimo Pradella
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Great Opera Overtures / Bernstein, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Imports   Catalog: 663790 Release Date: 03/20/2007  
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 56.
    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  ... 
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  • 57.
    L'heure Bleu - Fauré, Verdi, Et Al / Tirabosco, Chatelain
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1211 Release Date: 01/02/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fernando J. Obradors,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Tirabosco,  Nathalie Chatelain
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  • 58.
    Maria Callas - The Live Recitals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68022 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Jeffrey Tate,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Nicola Rescigno
    Conductor:  Georges Prętre,  Alfredo Simonetto,  Nicola Rescigno,  Sir Malcolm Sargent  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 59.
    Martha Mödl - Arias And Scenes From Don Carlos, Macbeth, Etc
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90136 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Martha Mödl
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Hans Löwlein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin City Opera Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Weekend Classics - A Bizet Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000658202 Release Date: 07/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Placido Domingo,  Alicia Nafé,  Yvonne Kenny  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Bastille Opera Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Label: Brass Classics   Catalog: 13004 Release Date: 07/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Moritz Moszkowski  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Archibald,  Juliet Edwards
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  • 62.
    Sigrid Arnoldson Opera Collection Vol 17
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1342 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Sigrid Arnoldson
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  • 63.
    Bizet: Carmen - Demille's 1915 Film Classic
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4362 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Geraldine Farrar,  Giovanni Martinelli
    Conductor:  Gillian Anderson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Risë Stevens In Opera & Song
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4052 Release Date: 03/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Schwartz,  Georges Bizet,  Irving Berlin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Risë Stevens
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  • 65.
    Carnegie Hall
    Label: Bel Canto Society   Catalog: 791 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Eduardo Di Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Ezio Pinza,  Jan Peerce,  Artur Rubinstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Artur Rodzinski,  Bruno Walter,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 66.
    Maria Callas - The Platinum Collection
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 32250 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Tito Gobbi,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Nadine Sautereau  ... 
    Conductor:  Alceo Galliera,  Tullio Serafin,  Georges Prętre,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  French National Radio Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
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  • 67.
    The Only Opera Album You Will Ever Need
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 51677 Release Date: 07/26/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
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  • 68.
    Brava Berganza! - Falla, Bizet, Rossini, Etc
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000426602 Release Date: 04/12/2005   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Francisco de la Torre,  Jesus Guridi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Joaquin Turina  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Narciso Yepes,  Felix Lavilla Munarriz,  Paolo Montarsolo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Karl Böhm,  Miguel Roa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Scottish Opera Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 69.
    La Diva / Katherine Jenkins
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000439102 Release Date: 04/12/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lucio Quarantotto,  Lucio Dalla,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  James Banbury,  Katherine Jenkins,  John Pancelli,  John Paricelli
    Conductor:  James Banbury,  William Hayward
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Film Orchestra,  Metro Voices,  National Youth Choir of Wales
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  • 70.
    Arias /  Aldona Stempuzis
    Label: Legacy Collections   Catalog: 5637484502 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Aldona Stempuzis
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  • 71.
    San Francisco Opera Gems Volume 2 / Merola, Et Al
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2287/89 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Richard Strauss,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber,  Alessio De Paolis,  John Garris,  Mack Harrell  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian,  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Gaetano Merola
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Opera Orchestra,  San Francisco Opera Chorus
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  • 72.
    Original Masters - Grace Bumbry - Early Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775250 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry,  Sebastian Peschko,  Wolfgang Windgassen,  Erik Werba  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Sawallisch,  Maurice Abravanel,  Hans Löwlein,  János Kulka  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bayreuth Festival Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra,  Bayreuth Festival Chorus  ... 
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  • 73.
    The Essential Jessye Norman [CD + DVD]
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000328300 Release Date: 01/11/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Pietro Mascagni,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Jessye Norman,  Neil Shicoff,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Irwin Gage  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Sir Colin Davis,  Semyon Bychkov,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Orchestra d'Ile de France,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris Chorus  ... 
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  • 74.
    Bizet - Greatest Hits
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000233802 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Léopold Simoneau,  René Bianco,  Ileana Cotrubas  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Antal Doráti,  Jean Fournet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Singers,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Una Voce Poco Fa - Portrait Of Teresa Berganza
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000233502 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jesus Guridi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Jesús y Gárate Arámbarri,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Felix Lavilla Munarriz,  Roger Hager,  Geoffrey Parsons
    Conductor:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Gerardo Gombau,  Benito Lauret  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sir Alexander Gibson,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
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