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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: Carmen / Krasteva, Antonenko, Märzendorfer, Et Al
Release Date: 10/18/2005   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2054528   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 / 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: L'arlésienne, Carmen - Suites / Bramall, Slovak Po
Release Date: 06/30/1992   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550061   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen: Toreador Song

Browse 26-50 of 124 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Heroes & Villains - Opera's Leading Men
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001433902 Release Date: 06/01/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Bergonzi,  Rolando Villazón,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Daniele Callegari,  Robin Stapleton,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Santa Cecilia Academy Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 27.
    The Hit Men: The Greatest Voices Of Our Time
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28546 Release Date: 04/20/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Salvatore Cardillo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Franco Corelli,  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Rafaele Mingardo,  Bruno Bartoletti,  James Levine  ... 
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  • 28.
    Baritone Arias - Verdi, Rossini, Mozart, Donizetti / Lado Ataneli
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572438 Release Date: 12/15/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Lado Ataneli
    Conductor:  Lodovico Zocche
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wurttemberg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Bernstein Favorites - Opera For Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46714 Release Date: 07/06/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Alexander Borodin,  Georges Bizet,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    Opera's Greatest Moments - Favourite Arias And Choruses
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557926-27 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marina Mescheriakova,  John Dickie,  Thomas Harper,  Patrizia Pace  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner,  Michael Halász,  Piergiorgio Morandi,  Alexander Rahbari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Chorus,  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
    On sale! $12.99
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  • 32.
    The Opera Gala - Live from Baden-Baden / Netrebko, Vargas [Blu-ray]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001208859 Release Date: 11/25/2008  
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Ruperto Chapi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Ludovic Tézier,  Elina Garanca,  Ramón Vargas,  Anna Netrebko
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 33.
    We Love A Parade / Mccann, Sellers Engineering Band
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 4527 Release Date: 10/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alan Fernie,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Joseph John Richards,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sellers Engineering Band
    CD: $11.99
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  • 34.
    Voice Of Firestone - Robert Merrill In Opera & Song
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2461 Release Date: 04/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Frederick Loewe,  Harry Warren,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Merrill
    Conductor:  Howard Barlow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Voice of Firestone Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Opera Gala - Live From Baden - Baden
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001061402 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruperto Chapi,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Elina Garanca,  Ludovic Tézier,  Ramón Vargas,  Anna Netrebko
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 36.
    The Opera Gala - Live from Baden-Baden / Netrebko, Vargas
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001039209 Release Date: 01/08/2008  
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Ruperto Chapi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Ludovic Tézier,  Elina Garanca,  Ramón Vargas,  Anna Netrebko
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Symphonic Brass - Verdi, Bizet, Gershwin, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570726 Release Date: 11/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  John T. Williams,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas J. Childs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Black Dyke Mills Band
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  • 38.
    Heroes And Villains - Dmitri Hvorostovsky / Orbelian, Philharmonia Of Russia
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3365 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Richard Wagner,  Anton Rubinstein,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia of Russia
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  • 39.
    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  ... 
    CD: $54.49
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  • 40.
    Georg Ots Vol 2 - Recordings 1951-1969
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10353 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Anton Rubinstein,  George Gershwin,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Georg Ots
    Conductor:  Kirill Raudsepp,  Prokhorow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Estonian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Josef Metternich - Recordings 1953-1955
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10309 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Jacques Offenbach,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Metternich,  Margarete Klose,  Anneliese Kupper,  Rudolf Schock
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Schüchter,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Fritz Lehmann,  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 42.
    Samuel Ramey - French Opera Arias / Rudel, London Po
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 432080 Release Date: 04/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jules Massenet,  Ambroise Thomas,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Ramey,  Claire Powell
    Conductor:  Julius Rudel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Opera D'oro At The Movies / Pavarotti, Callas, Et Al
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1010 Release Date: 10/10/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Alessandra Ruffini,  Serena Lazzarini,  Franco Corelli,  Elizabeth Harwood  ... 
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  • 44.
    Everybody's Opera
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000707102 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Nucci,  Teresa Berganza,  Joan Edwards,  Margreta Elkins  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Edward Downes,  Richard Bonynge,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 45.
    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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  • 46.
    Karaoke Opera 1 - Nessun Dorma
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 111 Release Date: 04/11/2006  
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
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  • 47.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Martial Singher
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89635 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Baptiste Lully,  André Modeste Grétry,  Hector Berlioz,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Martial Singher,  Marjorie Lawrence
    Conductor:  Paul Breisach,  Maurice Abravanel,  Piero Coppola,  Reynaldo Hahn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Gramophone Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 48.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Michael Bohnen Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89633 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Albert Maria Radecke,  Carl Binder,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Bohnen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Mad About Opera (Follie Per L?opera) / Various / (Sub B&w)
    Label: Bel Canto Society   Catalog: 493 Release Date: 11/22/2005  
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Rodolfo Falvo  ... 
    Performer:  Beniamino Gigli,  Maria Caniglia,  Tito Gobbi,  Tito Schipa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Original Masters - Dietrich Fischer-dieskau
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000480502 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Carl Orff,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini,  Frank Martin  ... 
    Performer:  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Jörg Demus,  Hertha Klust,  Karl Engel  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Frank Martin,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Chamber Chorus,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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