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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 51-75 of 124 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Dokumente Einer Sangerkarriere - Joseph Metternich Vol 1
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93442 Release Date: 08/30/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Metternich,  Margarete Klose,  Diana Eustrati,  Rosl Schaffrian  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Schüchter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 52.
    A Survey Of European Zonophone Recordings 1901-1903
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1281 Release Date: 02/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean-Baptiste Fauré,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Pol Plançon,  Giulio Rossi,  Leon Laffitte,  Rose Caron  ... 
    On sale! $20.98
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  • 53.
    100 Best Opera Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 862112 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Lakes,  Maria Callas,  Tito Gobbi,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon,  Alceo Galliera,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 54.
    Classical Music 101 - 101 Famous Classical Themes
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63691 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Igor Stravinsky,  Georges Bizet,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  José Luis Garcia,  Placido Domingo,  Carlo Bergonzi,  Barry Douglas  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fritz Reiner,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 55.
    Bizet - Greatest Hits
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000233802 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Léopold Simoneau,  René Bianco,  Ileana Cotrubas  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Antal Doráti,  Jean Fournet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Singers,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra
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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Lawrence Tibbett
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89576 Release Date: 11/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Howard Hanson,  Louis Gruenberg  ... 
    Performer:  Lawrence Tibbett,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Herman Dreeben,  Nicholas Massue  ... 
    Conductor:  Nathaniel Shilkret,  Rosario Bourdon,  Wilfrid Pelletier,  Giulio Setti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Bryn - Bryn Terfel Sings Favorites
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000130502 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Hoagy Carmichael,  William Henry Monk,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Catrin Finch,  Bryn Terfel,  Martin Taylor,  Neil Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Voices
    CD: $15.99
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  • 59.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Paolo Silveri Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89573 Release Date: 09/23/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Augusto Rotoli,  Luigi Denza,  Stanislas Gastaldon  ... 
    Performer:  Paolo Silveri,  Luigi Infantino
    Conductor:  Karl Rankl,  G. M. Guarino,  Walter Goehr,  Warwick Braithwaite  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 60.
    The World's Very Best Opera For Kids...in English!
    Label: Children's Group   Catalog: 84341 Release Date: 09/23/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Erin Thrall,  Daniel Taylor,  Tracy Dahl,  Michael Schade  ... 
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  • 61.
    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 [Soprano Vocal] Ponselle,  Emmy Destinn,  Lawrence Tibbett,  Enrico Caruso  ... 
    Conductor:  Erno Rapée,  Carlo Sabajno,  Alberto Erede,  Lorenzo Molajoli  ... 
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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    Original Masters - Hans Hotter - Lieder And Opera Scenes
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 474006 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Hugo Wolf,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Hotter,  Gloria Davy,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Erik Werba
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Artur Roder,  Argeo Quadri,  Robert Heger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Largo Al Factotum - Famous Baritone Arias
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555922 Release Date: 05/21/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Roberto Servile,  Silvano Carroli,  Eduard Tumagian,  Domenico Trimarchi  ... 
    Conductor:  Will Humburg,  Alexander Rahbari,  Johannes Wildner,  Piergiorgio Morandi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Failoni Chamber Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony,  Hungarian State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    Red Army Chorus - The Best Of The Original Ensemble
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 28800 Release Date: 04/30/2002   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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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    Cantolopera - Baritone Vol 1
    Label: Cantolopera Records   Catalog: 95035 Release Date: 03/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Alberto Gazale,  Roberto Lovera
    Conductor:  Antonello Gotta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Opera Italiana,  Chorus of the Opera Italiana
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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    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: $16.99
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  • 72.
    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
    CD: $11.99
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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Robert Merrill
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89501 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Franz Lehár,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Merrill,  Dorothy Kirsten
    Conductor:  Jean Paul Morel,  Russ Case,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Frieder Weissmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Russ Case Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 75.
    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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