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 / Haitink, Ewing, McCauley, et al
Release Date: 09/27/2005   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2843   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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Bizet: Carmen (Highlights)
Release Date: 01/28/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550727   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Symphony In C - Jeux D'enfants
Release Date: 01/04/1996   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553027   Number of Discs: 1
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Classics Explained - An Introduction To Bizet: Carmen
Release Date: 07/16/2002   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8558010   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen: Toreador Song

Browse 51-71 of 71 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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
    CD: $15.99
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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 54.
    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  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    25 Opera Favorites
    Label: Vox Cameo Classics   Catalog: 8838 Release Date: 07/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  John Oakman,  Elvira Cirje-Druica,  Eugenia Moldoveanu,  Ludovic Spiess  ... 
    Conductor:  Julian Bigg,  Mircea Popa,  Constantin Petrovici,  Rudolph Palmer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Symphony Orchestra,  Romanian Opera Chorus of Bucharest,  Romanian Opera Orchestra of Bucharest  ... 
    CD: $4.99
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  • 59.
    Stanford Archive Series / Lawrence Tibbet
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 5500 Release Date: 05/20/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Lawrence Tibbett,  Giordano Paltrinieri
    Conductor:  Artur Bodanzky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 60.
    The 1903 Grand Opera Series
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 62334 Release Date: 10/01/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean-Baptiste Fauré,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ronald, Landon, Sir,  Leo Stern  ... 
    Performer:  Charles Adams Prince,  Charles Gilibert,  Giuseppe Campanari,  Suzanne Adams  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    Leonard Warren - His First Recordings
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1017 Release Date: 11/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Leonard Warren,  Rose Bampton,  Lucielle Browning,  Jean Dickenson  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilfrid Pelletier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chorus
    CD: $15.99
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  • 63.
    The Best Of Opera Vol 1
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553166 Release Date: 06/27/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Nicola Martinucci,  Luba Orgonasova,  Alan Titus,  Jozef Spacek  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari,  Will Humburg,  Oliver Dohnányi,  Michael Halász  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Orchestra,  Bratislava Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Carlo Tagliabue
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89015 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Tagliabue
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  • 65.
    Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy - My Favorite Opera For Children
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443817 Release Date: 08/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Julia Hamari,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Lucia Popp,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Silvio Varviso,  Richard Bonynge,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 66.
    Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy - My Favorite Opera For Everyone
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443818 Release Date: 08/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jacques Offenbach,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Huguette Tourangeau,  Dame Joan Sutherland  ... 
    Conductor:  Silvio Varviso,  Giuseppe Patané,  Richard Bonynge,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Radio Chorus  ... 
    CD: $7.99
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  • 67.
    Bizet: Carmen (Highlights)
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550727 Release Date: 01/28/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Doina Palade,  Giorgio Lamberti,  Alan Titus,  Graciela Alperyn
    Conductor:  Alexander Rahbari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Chorus,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava
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  • 68.
    Prima Voce - Tibbett In Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7825 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Lawrence Tibbett,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Leonard Warren,  Rose Bampton  ... 
    Conductor:  Nathaniel Shilkret,  Rosario Bourdon,  Wilfrid Pelletier,  Alexander Smallens  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 69.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Karajan, Baltsa, Carreras
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 413322 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Agnes Baltsa,  Michel Marinpouille,  Alexander Malta  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus,  Schöneberg Boys Choir
    Recommendation
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  • 70.
    Opera Without Words - Arias For Orchestra
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 44999 Release Date: 11/20/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $8.99
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  • 71.
    The Orchestra Sings - Great Operatic Themes For Orchestra / Dragon, Newman
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65430 Release Date: 11/08/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Conductor:  Carmen Dragon,  Alfred Newman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capitol Symphony Orchestra,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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