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
Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti: The 3 Tenors Sing Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Bizet, Wagner And More
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 88697757882   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Karajan, Price, Corelli, Merrill, Freni
Release Date: 08/11/1998   Label: Rca Victor Red Seal  
Catalog: 39495   Number of Discs: 3
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Bizet: Carmen / Abbado, Berganza, Domingo, Cotrubas, Et Al
Release Date: 03/08/2005   Label: Dg The Originals  
Catalog: 000402902   Number of Discs: 2
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Bizet: Carmen / Karajan, Simionato, Gedda, Vienna So
Release Date: 11/15/2005   Label: Andante  
Catalog: 3100   Number of Discs: 2
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Bizet: Carmen / Reiner, Stevens, Tucker, Silveri, Conner
Release Date: 11/01/2011   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 7961892   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Carmen: Gypsy Song

Browse 26-50 of 57 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 27.
    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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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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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  • 30.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 31.
    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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  • 32.
    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
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 33.
    French Arias / Magdalena Kozena
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 1154013 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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Sinopoli, Larmore, Moser, Et Al
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 48727 Release Date: 02/18/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Jennifer Larmore,  Thomas Moser,  Angela Gheorghiu,  Samuel Ramey
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus
    CD: $8.99
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  • 37.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Gladys Swarthout
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89561 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Canteloube,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jules Massenet,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Gladys Swarthout,  Ramon Vinay,  Lucielle Browning,  Thelma Votipka
    Conductor:  Jean Paul Morel,  François Morel,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Alexander Smallens  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 38.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Risë Stevens
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89556 Release Date: 07/30/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Georges Bizet,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Erna Berger,  Risë Stevens,  Raoul Jobin
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Georges Sebastian,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Frieder Weissmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 39.
    Rca Red Seal Century - Vocalists
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63860 Release Date: 11/06/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Luisa Tetrazzini,  Titta Ruffo,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Alma Gluck  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack,  Rosario Bourdon,  Renato Cellini,  Marcello Viotti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 40.
    The Golden Age Of Singing Vol 4 - 1930-1950
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7056 Release Date: 10/02/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Kirsten Flagstad,  Martin Lawrence,  Mariano Stabile,  Tito Gobbi  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Erede,  Umberto Berrettoni,  Frank Edward Tours,  Karl Alwin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 41.
    Marina Domashenko - Opera Arias
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3285 Release Date: 07/31/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Marina Domashenko
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 42.
    Marina Domashenko - Opera Arias
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3285 Release Date: 07/31/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Marina Domashenko
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 43.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Maria Olszewska
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89526 Release Date: 04/24/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Genia Guszalewicz,  Else Knepel,  Maria Olszewska,  Emil Schipper  ... 
    Conductor:  Leo Blech,  Fritz Zweig,  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 44.
    Bizet: Carmen (Highlights) / de Burgos, Bumbry, Freni, Vickers, Paris National Opera Orchestra
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 74127 Release Date: 10/24/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Jon Vickers,  Grace Bumbry,  Kostas Paskalis,  Bernard Gontcharenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Chorus,  National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris
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  • 45.
    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,  Lillian Watson  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    CD: $9.99
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  • 46.
    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
    CD: $14.99
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  • 47.
    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
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 48.
    Label: Curb   Catalog: 78050 Release Date: 10/31/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Sona [Mezzo-soprano Vocal] Cervena,  Rolf Apreck,  Ursula Enger,  Sigrid Kehl
    CD: $12.99
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  • 49.
    An Evening With The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68860 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Emil Waldteufel  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Rabin,  Leonard Pennario
    Conductor:  Felix Slatkin,  Carmen Dragon,  Miklós Rózsa,  Earl Bernard Murray  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $54.98
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  • 50.
    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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