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 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: Les pecheurs de perles / Ferro, Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 719508   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: L'arlésienne Suites, Etc / José Serebrier
Release Date: 03/30/2004   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1305   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 / Horne, McCracken, Bernstein
Release Date: 03/10/2015   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186216   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Carmen: Gypsy Song

Browse 1-25 of 52 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Karajan, Baltsa, Carreras
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002008902 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Katia Ricciarelli,  Mikael Melbye,  Alexander Malta,  Agnes Baltsa  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus,  Schöneberg Boys Choir
    CD: $6.99
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  • 2.
    Magdalena  Kozena -  Three Classic Albums
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999702 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Traditional,  Leos Janácek,  Antonín Dvorák,  Erwin Schulhoff  ... 
    Performer:  Magdalena Kozená,  Malcolm Martineau,  Michael Freimuth,  Dorothea Röschmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Reinhard Goebel,  Marc Minkowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Antiqua Cologne,  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre
    CD: $21.99
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  • 3.
    French Opera Arias / Sonia Ganassi
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 2564 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Charles Gounod,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Sonia Ganassi
    Conductor:  Carla Delfrate
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Marchigiana Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 4.
    Icon: Maria Callas - La Divina
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 23401 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Francesco Cilča,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Giuseppe Morresi,  Ebe Stignani,  Raffaele Arié  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prętre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $42.99
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  • 5.
    Fiesta / Carmen Dragon, Hollywood Bowl SO
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63734 Release Date: 10/17/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Georges Bizet,  Sebastián de Iradier,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Conductor:  Carmen Dragon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    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  ... 
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  • 7.
    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  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 8.
    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: $32.99
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Regina Resnik - Opera Gala
    Label: London/Decca Grand Opera Series   Catalog: 421897 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Forrest,  Franz Lehár,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Ian Wallace,  Regina Resnik,  Waldemar Kmentt,  Birgit Nilsson  ... 
    Conductor:  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mantovani Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    From The Heart / Katherine Jenkins
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001258302 Release Date: 02/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Robert John Jange,  Francesco Sartori,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Simon Franglen,  Katherine Jenkins,  King's Consort Choir,  Robert King  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 14.
    Katherine Jenkins - Serenade
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 001258402 Release Date: 02/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nicholas Brodszky,  Curly Putman,  Bryan Adams,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine Jenkins
    CD: $14.99
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  • 15.
    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  ... 
    CD: $30.99
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  • 16.
    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
    CD: $36.99
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  • 17.
    Prima Donna - Leading Ladies Of Opera
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4385 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Strauss,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Edita Gruberova,  Shirley Verrett,  Catherine Malfitano,  Elizabeth Collier  ... 
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  • 18.
    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  ... 
    CD: $36.99
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  • 19.
    The Edison Legacy Vol. 1
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 52042 Release Date: 02/12/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Carolina White,  Edyth Walker,  Fritz Vogelstrom,  Domenico Viglione-Borghese  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Instant Classics - Bizet: Carmen (Highlights)
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5103 Release Date: 11/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Franck Leguérinel,  Thierry Trégan,  Vincent Le Texier,  Christian Papis  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bordeaux-Aquitaine National Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 21.
    The Cambridge Buskers' Compact Classics
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423400 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Franz Schubert,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge Buskers
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 22.
    Heart Of The Symphony
    Label: Kado   Catalog: 20054 Release Date: 02/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Georges Bizet,  George Frideric Handel,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    Divertissement
    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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  • 25.
    Enchantment / Magdalena Kozená
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000657612 Release Date: 05/09/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Johann Christoph Bach,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Josef Myslivecek  ... 
    Performer:  Magdalena Kozená,  Barbara Maria Willi,  Claire Delgado-Boge,  Edwige Parat  ... 
    Conductor:  Marc Minkowski,  Reinhard Goebel,  Paul McCreesh,  Michel Swierczewski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  Musica Antiqua Cologne,  Gabrieli Players  ... 
    Recommendation
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