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: Complete Orchestral Works / Batiz
Release Date: 08/28/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94404   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Carmen: Gypsy Song

Browse 26-50 of 86 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    In My Element / Anne Sofie Van Otter
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 477707 Release Date: 03/03/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benny Andersson,  George Frideric Handel,  Claudio Monteverdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Fredrik Jonsson,  Magnus Persson,  Jörgen Stenberg,  David Björkman  ... 
    Conductor:  Marc Minkowski,  John Eliot Gardiner,  James Levine,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Musiciens du Louvre,  English Baroque Soloists,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 27.
    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  ... 
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  • 28.
    Be My Valentine - Music For Two
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000815402 Release Date: 01/08/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Sylvia McNair,  Dana Hanchard,  Pierre Fournier,  Ernest Lush  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Thomas Schippers,  James Levine,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Cambridge Buskers,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    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
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  • 31.
    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  ... 
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  • 32.
    The One And Only - Opera Arias / Maria Callas
    Label: Emi 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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  • 33.
    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  ... 
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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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  ... 
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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Armida Parsi-pettinella
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89627 Release Date: 12/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Armida Parsi-Pettinella,  Pasquale Amato,  Ferruccio Corradetti,  Ester Mazzoleni  ... 
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  • 40.
    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 Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  French National Radio Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
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  • 41.
    Musiques À Orsay - Debussy, Etc
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 4919 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Martine Olmeda,  Maryse Castets,  Béatrice Uria-Monzon,  Hüseyin Sermet  ... 
    Conductor:  Manuel Rosenthal,  Alain Lombard,  Laurence Equilbey,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bordeaux Aquitaine Orchestra,  Accentus  ... 
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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Jennie Tourel
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89589 Release Date: 04/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Offenbach
    Performer:  Jennie Tourel
    Conductor:  Pietro Cimara,  Fausto Cleva,  Jean Paul Morel,  Maurice Abravanel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 44.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Alagna, Gheorgiu, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57502 Release Date: 04/06/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  Inva Mula-Tchako,  David Alagna,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Les Elements Chamber Choir
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  • 45.
    The Great Violinists - Recordings From 1900-1913
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1323 Release Date: 02/10/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Alfredo D'Ambrosio,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Camille DeCreus,  Karol Gregorowicz,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
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  • 46.
    Kraus, Raimondi & Ricciarelli In Concert / Coni, Valentini-terrani, Et Al
    Label: Imports (Dvd)   Catalog: 625477 Release Date: 01/08/2004  
    Composer:  Francesco Cilèa,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Alfredo Kraus,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Katia Ricciarelli,  Paolo Coni  ... 
    Conductor:  Gian Paolo Sanzogno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Madrid Symphony Orchestra
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  • 47.
    French Arias / Magdalena Kozená, Marc Minkowski
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000130202 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  François Boieldieu,  Jules Massenet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Christophe Keck,  Magdalena Kozená,  Jean-Marc Zvellenreuther,  Christophe Grapperon  ... 
    Conductor:  Marc Minkowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre
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  • 48.
    Regina Resnik - Dramatic Scenes & Arias
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 475017 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  George Forrest,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Waldemar Kmentt,  Regina Resnik,  Robert Merrill,  Peter Gougaloff  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Mike Sammes Singers  ... 
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  • 49.
    Great Voices Of The Past - Favorite French Excerpts
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8016 Release Date: 07/01/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Halévy,  Gustave Charpentier,  Edouard Lalo  ... 
    Performer:  Rosa Ponselle,  Emmy Destinn,  Lawrence Tibbett,  Enrico Caruso  ... 
    Conductor:  Erno Rapée,  Carlo Sabajno,  Alberto Erede,  Lorenzo Molajoli  ... 
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  • 50.
    Very Best Of Singers - Maria Callas
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 575897 Release Date: 04/16/2003  
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Gioachino Rossini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas
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