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: Symphony In C, L'arlesienne Suites / Delacote, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/10/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28480   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen Suite  / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 09/08/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28020   Number of Discs: 1
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Prokofiev: Peter & the Wolf; Saint-Saens, Bizet / Gielgud, Licata
Release Date: 10/13/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28450   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Complete Orchestral Works / Batiz
Release Date: 08/28/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94404   Number of Discs: 3
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Classiques Francais - Works By Dukas, Bizet, Francaix, Ravel / Clamor
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Genuin Musikproduction  
Catalog: 13291   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen: Gypsy Song

Browse 51-75 of 85 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Callas Forever - Original Film Soundtrack
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57389 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alessio Vlad,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Angelo Mercuriali,  Tito Gobbi,  Giuseppe Zampieri  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Victor De Sabata,  Antonio Secchi,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Italian Musical Academy Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus  ... 
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  • 52.
    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
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  • 53.
    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
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  • 54.
    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  ... 
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  • 55.
    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  ... 
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  • 56.
    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
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  • 57.
    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
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  • 58.
    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
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  • 59.
    Maria Callas - The Legend
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57057 Release Date: 10/24/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Raphäel Arié,  Tito Gobbi,  Jane Berbié  ... 
    Conductor:  Alceo Galliera,  Tullio Serafin,  Georges Prêtre,  Franco Ghione  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra  ... 
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  • 60.
    Opera - Bizet: Carmen (Highlights) / Frühbeck De Burgos
    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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  • 61.
    Bizet: Carmen Suite
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4696302 Release Date: 09/04/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Teresa Berganza,  Ileana Cotrubas,  Yvonne Kenny  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus
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  • 62.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Karajan, Price, Corelli, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63495 Release Date: 09/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Leontyne Price,  Mirella Freni,  Monique Linval  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir
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  • 63.
    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,  Susan Daniel  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
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  • 64.
    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
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  • 65.
    Callas Edition - Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Prêtre, Paris
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66663 Release Date: 06/02/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Maria Callas,  Andréa Guiot,  Nadine Sautereau  ... 
    Conductor:  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Opera Orchestra,  René Duclos Chorus,  Jean Pesneaud Children's Choir
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  • 66.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Solti, Troyanos, Domingo, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Opera Gala Series   Catalog: 458204 Release Date: 05/12/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Tatiana Troyanos,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Jane Berbié  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Haberdashers' Aske's School Boys Choir
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  • 67.
    Maria Callas - The Voice Of The Century
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66628 Release Date: 03/17/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Alfredo Kraus
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Georges Prêtre,  Franco Ghione,  Victor De Sabata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 68.
    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
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  • 69.
    Callas - La Divina - Complete
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65746 Release Date: 11/14/1995   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Tito Gobbi,  Maria Callas,  Nicolai Gedda,  Rolando Panerai  ... 
    Conductor:  Alceo Galliera,  Tullio Serafin,  Herbert von Karajan,  Antonino Votto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $43.98
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  • 70.
    Label: Curb   Catalog: 78050 Release Date: 10/31/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Sona Cervena,  Rolf Apreck,  Ursula Enger,  Sigrid Kehl
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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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
    CD: $11.99
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  • 73.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Sigrid Onegin
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89027 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Sigrid Onegin
    Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon,  Leo Blech,  Kurt Singer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Doctor's Chorus
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 74.
    Basic 100 Vol 52 - Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Karajan, Et Al
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68021 Release Date: 11/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Mirella Freni,  Leontyne Price,  Robert Merrill
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Chorus
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  • 75.
    Prima Voce Sampler
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1430 Release Date: 08/09/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Amand Mangold,  Richard Strauss,  Traditional,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Bruno Seidler-Winkler,  Frieda Hempel,  Tiana Lemnitz,  Erna Berger  ... 
    Conductor:  Clemens Krauss,  Nathaniel Shilkret,  Gustav Cloëz,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus  ... 
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