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 / Kaufmann, Kasarova, Welser-Most
Release Date: 10/27/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002188409   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Symphony In C, Jeux D'enfants, Variations Chromatiques / West,  San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
Release Date: 09/10/2013   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 131   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Pretre, Callas, Guiot, Gedda, Massard
Release Date: 09/23/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 634110   Number of Discs: 2
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Prima Voce - Pasquale Amato - Leoncavallo, Bizet, Et Al
Release Date: 02/23/1999   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 7897   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Carmen: Flower Song

Browse 26-50 of 269 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Great Opera
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501054 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Adrianne Pieczonka,  Boje Skovhus,  Renato Girolami,  Janusz Monarcha  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Will Humburg,  Alexander Rahbari,  Rico Saccani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia,  Hungarian Radio Chorus,  Failoni Orchestra Budapest  ... 
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  • 27.
    The Very Best Of Jussi Bjorling
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 6789972 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Paul Franke  ... 
    Conductor:  Nils Grevillius,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Renato Cellini
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  • 28.
    Best Of José Carreras
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 7317012 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Teresa Berganza
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Jacques Delacôte,  Michel Plasson,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
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  • 29.
    Dedicated to the International Tchaikovsky Competition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001860 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn,  Valery Klimov,  A. Amentaeva,  Natalia Shakhovskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Maxim Shostakovich,  Mark Ermler,  B. Haikin,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  State Academic Bolshoi Theatre Sextet
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  • 30.
    Bjorling Sings At Carnegie Hall
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7858222 Release Date: 09/20/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Frederick Schauwecker
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  • 31.
    Popular Opera Arias
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300250 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Hermann Prey,  Ruth-Margaret Pütz,  Franz Crass,  Annelies Burmeister  ... 
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Siegfried Kurz,  Giuseppe Patané,  Horst Stein  ... 
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  • 32.
    Giuseppe Di Stefano - The Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001589102 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Traditional,  Franco Cesarini,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Eldo Di Lazzaro  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Hilde Gueden,  Renato Capecchi,  Luisa Mandelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Dino Olivieri,  Iller Pattacini,  Franco Patanč,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra of London,  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra  ... 
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  • 33.
    Jussi Bjorling - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 774892 Release Date: 07/26/2011   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Charles Gounod,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Emil Markow,  Frederick Schauwecker  ... 
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Nils Grevillius,  Jonel Perlea,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra  ... 
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  • 34.
    Bizet: Carmen - Highlights / Alagna, Gheorgiu, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94868 Release Date: 06/21/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Angela Gheorghiu,  David Alagna,  Inva Mula-Tchako,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Les Elements Chamber Choir
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  • 35.
    The Opera Album 2011
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001566102 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Anna Netrebko,  Andrea Bocelli,  Jonas Kaufmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth,  Gianandrea Noseda,  Zubin Mehta,  Antonio Pappano  ... 
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  • 36.
    Melodies Of Love And Death - Opera Senza Parole / Osiris Trio
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72373 Release Date: 06/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Osiris Trio
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  • 37.
    Peter Anders Singt Arien Und Lieder
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94214 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Anders,  Sena Jurinac,  Nata Tüscher,  Heinz Mende  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Ackermann,  Paul Burkhardt
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  • 38.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit: Albert Da Costa
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89740 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Jacques Halévy,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Albert da Costa
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  • 39.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit: Kurt Baum
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89741 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gioachino Rossini,  Jacques Halévy,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Kurt Baum
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Loibner
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  • 40.
    Aroldo Lindi - Recordings 1925-1928
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10146 Release Date: 12/03/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Aroldo Lindi,  Giannina Arangi-Lombardi,  Armando Borgioli,  Tancredi Pasero
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  • 41.
    Beno Blachut - Recordings 1944-1960
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10283 Release Date: 11/22/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Josef Bohuslav Foerster,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Benno Blachut,  Stepanka Jelinkova,  Ludmila Cervinková,  Karel Kalas  ... 
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  • 42.
    Georges Thill Vol 4 - Bizet, Berlioz, Delibes, Rimsky-Korsakov
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10249 Release Date: 11/22/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Hector Berlioz,  Giacomo Puccini,  Friedrich von Flotow  ... 
    Performer:  Raymonde Visconti,  Georges Thill,  Marthe Nespoulous
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  • 43.
    Sophie Braslau & Richard Crooks - Recordings 1914-1929
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10038 Release Date: 11/22/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Gabriele Sibella,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Crooks,  Sophie Braslau,  Frances Alda
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  • 44.
    Karin Branzell & Martin Oehmann - Recordings 1924-1929
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10037 Release Date: 11/02/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wilhelm Kienzl,  Richard Wagner,  Daniel-François Auber,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Karin Branzell,  Carl Martin Oehmann
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  • 45.
    Brita Hertzberg & Ejnar Beyron - Recordings 1928-1945
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10031 Release Date: 10/29/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Lehár,  Nils Söderström,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Einar Beyron,  Brita Hertzberg,  Helga Görlin,  Leon Björker
    Conductor:  Ernst Hauke,  Nils Grevillius
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  • 46.
    Jacques Urlus Vol 2 - Recordings 1907-1923
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10260 Release Date: 10/15/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugčne d' Albert,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Jacques Urlus
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  • 47.
    Dokumente Eine Sangerkarriere: Josef Traxel
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93459 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  François Boieldieu,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Aimé Maillart  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Traxel
    Conductor:  Arthur Grüber,  Hans Löwlein,  Werner Schmidt-Bolcke,  Wilhelm Schüchter
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  • 48.
    The Pearl Fishers' Duet: The Very Best Of Jussi Bjorling
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1100 Release Date: 10/05/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Harry Ebert
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Nils Grevillius,  Sir Thomas Beecham
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  • 49.
    Essential Opera
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27920 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Ernest Blanc,  Nicolai Gedda,  Thomas Hampson  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Thomas Schippers,  Pierre Dervaux,  Gianluigi Gelmetti  ... 
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  • 50.
    Bizet: Carmen Arias & Duets / Bocelli, Chung, Terfel, Domashenko
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001459102 Release Date: 08/17/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Marina Domashenko,  Bryn Terfel,  Eva Mei
    Conductor:  Myung-Whun Chung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra
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