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: Complete Orchestral Works / Batiz
Release Date: 08/28/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94404   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Carmen: Flower Song

Browse 251-272 of 272 Available Recordings
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  • 251.
    Opera's Greatest Love Songs - Pavarotti, Domingo, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61886 Release Date: 10/26/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georges Bizet,  Richard Wagner,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Julia Varády,  Franco Corelli,  Leontyne Price,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Herbert von Karajan,  Henry Lewis,  Nello Santi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 252.
    Mad About Tenors
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439517 Release Date: 08/10/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Pietro Mascagni,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Walter Gullino,  Placido Domingo,  Rosalind Plowright,  Susanne Mentzer  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  James Levine,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 253.
    Caruso In Love
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61639 Release Date: 02/15/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Helen Guy,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Angelo Mascheroni  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Caruso,  Giuseppe de Luca,  Flora Perini,  Amelita Galli-Curci  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack,  Walter Rogers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 254.
    Prima Voce - Antonio Cortis
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7850 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Cortis,  Simeon José Serrano,  Joaquin Gaztambide,  Amadeo Vives  ... 
    Performer:  Antonio Cortis
    Conductor:  Carlo Sabajno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 255.
    Prima Voce - John Mccormack In Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7820 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Victor Herbert,  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  John McCormack,  Edwin Schneider,  Mario Sammarco,  Lucrezia Bori
    CD: $11.99
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  • 256.
    Prima Voce - Martinelli Vol 2 1913-1923
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7826 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Blanc,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe de Luca,  José Mardones,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Marcel Journet
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  • 257.
    Prima Voce - Supervia In Opera & Song
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7836 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jose Baldomir,  Georges Bizet,  Joaquin Valverde  ... 
    Performer:  Conchita Supervia,  Giovanni Manurita,  Carlo Scattola,  Gaston Micheletti  ... 
    Conductor:  Angelo Albergoni,  Gustav Cloëz,  Jose Juan Cadenas,  Antonio Capdevila  ... 
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  • 258.
    Prima Voce - Tauber In Opera
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7830 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Jacques Offenbach,  Albert Lortzing,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Tauber,  Lotte Lehmann,  Emmy Bettendorf
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Ernst Hauke,  Hermann Weigert,  Carl Besl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra,  Berlin Playhouse Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 259.
    Essential Opera - Bizet, Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 433822 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Nucci,  Placido Domingo,  Piero de Palma,  Montserrat Caballé  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Sir Georg Solti,  Zubin Mehta,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir  ... 
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  • 260.
    Carmen Without Words / Andre Kostelanetz & His Orchestra
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 46287 Release Date: 11/10/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Mikhail Glinka,  Maurice Ravel,  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz,  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 261.
    Arias / Luciano Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 400053 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti
    Conductor:  Leone Magiera,  Richard Bonynge,  Nicola Rescigno,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 262.
    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
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  • 263.
    Legendary Enrico Caruso- 21 Favorite Arias
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 5911 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Caruso
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack
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  • 264.
    The Best Of Domingo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415366 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Giovanni Foiani,  Ruggero Raimondi,  Edita Gruberova,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Richard Bonynge,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Lausanne Pro Arte Chorus  ... 
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  • 265.
    Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Karajan, Price, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60190 Release Date: 06/26/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Franco Corelli,  Leontyne Price,  Mirella Freni,  Monique Linval  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 266.
    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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  • 267.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Ozawa, Norman, Freni, Shicoff
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 426040 Release Date: 08/07/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Neil Shicoff,  Jessye Norman,  Mirella Freni,  Jean Rigby  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  French National Radio Chorus
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  • 268.
    Tutto Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425681 Release Date: 04/28/1989   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Umberto Giordano,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Julia Varády,  Ida Bormida,  Robert Lloyd  ... 
    Conductor:  István Kertész,  Zubin Mehta,  Herbert von Karajan,  Oliviero de Fabritiis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 269.
    The Caruso Edition, Volume Ii 1908-1912
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 01/21/1993   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Arturo Buzzi-Peccia,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Emanuele Nutile  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Caruso,  Louise Homer,  Johanna Gadski,  Frances Alda  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter B. Rogers
    On sale! $51.49
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  • 270.
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 9327 Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Francesco Paolo Tosti,  Edvard Grieg,  Eugčne d' Albert  ... 
    Performer:  Benno Ziegler,  Richard Tauber,  Vera Schwarz
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