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: Carmen & L'Arlesienne Suites Nos. 1 & 2 / Marriner, London Symphony
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186234   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Nanasi, Arena di Verona Orchestra and Chorus
Release Date: 08/28/2015   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 121   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen: Toreador Song

Browse 51-75 of 98 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    Red Army Chorus - The Best Of The Original Ensemble
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 698765 Release Date: 10/22/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Traditional,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Valeriy Gavva,  Vadim Korshunov,  Igor Volkov,  Vladimir Maistruck  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Agafonnikov,  Anatoly Maltsev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Red Star Red Army Chorus
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  • 54.
    Dokumente Einer Sängerkarriere - Ferdinand Frantz
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90490 Release Date: 08/27/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Ferdinand Frantz,  Paul Kuen
    Conductor:  Kurt Schröder,  Jan Koetsier,  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hessian Radio Symphony Orchestra Frankfurt,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 55.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Heinrich Rehkemper Vol 3
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89538 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gustav Mahler,  Richard Strauss,  Hugo Wolf  ... 
    Performer:  Heinrich Rehkemper
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Georges Baklanoff
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89522 Release Date: 03/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Rubinstein,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  George Baklanoff,  Lydia Jakovlevna Lipkowska
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  • 57.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Antonio Magnini Coletti
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89518 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Antonio Magini-Coletti,  Francesco Maria Bonini,  Oreste Luppi,  Gino Martinez-Patti  ... 
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  • 58.
    The #1 Opera Album Vol 1
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467632 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Nucci,  Andrea Bocelli,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Michele Pertusi  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Leone Magiera,  Sir Georg Solti,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 59.
    Prima Voce - Heinrich Schlusnus In Opera & Song
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7907 Release Date: 02/06/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aimé Maillart,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Heinrich Schlusnus,  Richard Strauss,  Frida Leider
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  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
    CD: $7.99
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  • 61.
    The Art Of Theodor Uppman - Arias From Ballo, Carmen, Etc
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1181 Release Date: 06/06/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Guion,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jaroslav Kricka,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Theodor Uppman
    Conductor:  Donald Voorhees
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra,  Chorus
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  • 62.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Michael Bohnen
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89190 Release Date: 03/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Bedrich Smetana,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Bohnen,  Joseph Schmidt,  Emmy Bettendorf,  Ursula Lüders  ... 
    Conductor:  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Frieder Weissmann,  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 63.
    The Prima Voce Treasury Of Opera Vol 1
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1742 Release Date: 02/15/2000   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jules Massenet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Eidé Noréna,  Conchita Supervia,  Tito Schipa,  Riccardo Stracciari  ... 
    Conductor:  Henri Défosse,  Angelo Albergoni,  Giorgio Polacco,  Nils Grevillius  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odeon-Künstler Orchestra,  Rome Opera Teatro Reale Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Harry De Garmo
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89175 Release Date: 08/24/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Eugčne d' Albert,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Harry De Garmo
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  • 65.
    The Best Opera Album In The World...ever!
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 42203 Release Date: 07/27/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Maria Callas,  Montserrat Caballé,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard,  Georges Prętre,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rhine Opera Chorus,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    Simply The Best Night At The Opera / Algana, Bartoli, Et Al
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 26499 Release Date: 07/06/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Ramey,  Annick Massis,  Marilyn Horne,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Marc Minkowski,  Lawrence Foster,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Le Concert des Tuileries,  Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 67.
    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
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  • 68.
    Prima Voce - Pasquale Amato - Leoncavallo, Bizet, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7897 Release Date: 02/23/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Charles Gounod,  Antonio Carlos Gomes,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Francis Lapitino,  Pasquale Amato,  Marcel Journet,  Frieda Hempel  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Rogers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 69.
    Label: Caprice Records   Catalog: 21586 Release Date: 11/17/1998   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod,  Ivar Widéen,  Erik Gustaf Geijer  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Stenhammar,  John Forsell,  Martha Ohlson,  Armas Järnefelt  ... 
    Conductor:  Hjalmar Meissner,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler
    CD: $54.49
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  • 70.
    Von Der Königlichen Hofoper Zur Staatsoper Unter Den Linden
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89403 Release Date: 07/21/1998   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Tiana Lemnitz,  Josef Mann,  Ludwig Suthaus,  Paula Buchner  ... 
    On sale! $104.98
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  • 71.
    Famous German Baritones Of The Past
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89967 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Conradin Kreutzer,  Heinrich Marschner  ... 
    Performer:  Erich Kunz,  Hans Hotter,  Hans Wocke,  Josef Herrmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Moralt,  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Otto Dobrindt,  Bruno Seidler-Winkler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Four Famous German Baritones
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89969 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Bohnen,  Emil Schipper,  Wilhelm Rode,  Emmy Bettendorf  ... 
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  • 73.
    Joseph Metternich Singt
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90125 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Metternich,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Anny Schlemm
    Conductor:  Fritz Lehmann,  Herbert Sandberg,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 74.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - José Mardones
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89158 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruperto Chapi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Esteban Anglada  ... 
    Performer:  José Mardones,  Giovanni Zenatello
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  • 75.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Andrej Ivanov
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89067 Release Date: 07/03/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Rubinstein,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Andrei Ivanov,  Irina Maslennikova
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