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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 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 / 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: Micaëla's Aria

Browse 1-25 of 79 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4
  • 1.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 2
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300350 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Byron Janis,  Gary Graffman,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Krips,  Fritz Reiner,  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $125.98
    CD: $104.99
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  • 2.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $125.98
    CD: $103.99
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  • 3.
    Kiri Te Kanawa: The Classic Albums [6-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002013002 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Joseph Canteloube,  Richard Strauss,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gottfried H. Stölzel  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Sir Georg Solti,  Gabriele Fontana,  Christopher Bowers-Broadbent  ... 
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Tate,  Sir Georg Solti,  Sir Colin Davis,  Gyorgy Fischer  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $39.98
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  • 4.
    60 Jahre Munchner Rundfunkorchester: Great Singers Live
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900309 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Francesco Cilča,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Lucia Popp,  Hermann Prey  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ghiaurov,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Georges Prętre,  Alfredo Antonini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
    Recommendation
    CD: $58.99
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  • 5.
    Mirella Freni: The First Recitals 1959-1961
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93481 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Pietro Mascagni,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Gino Del Ferro,  Viktor Remsey
    Conductor:  Ino Savini,  Argeo Quadri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $18.99
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  • 6.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $49.99
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  • 7.
    Leontyne Price - The Complete Collection Of Operatic Recital Albums
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 794051 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Gershwin,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Leontyne Price,  Laura Londi,  John W. Bubbles,  William Warfield  ... 
    Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Arturo Basile,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 8.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 828662 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  Nancy Argenta,  Crispian Steele-Perkins,  Gudrun Jahn,  Barbara Hendricks  ... 
    Conductor:  Gyorgy Fischer,  Kirk Trevor,  Louis Langrée,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 9.
    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
    CD: $12.99
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  • 10.
    Great Singers Live - Mirella Freni
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900303 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Cilča,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Mirella Freni
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ghiaurov,  Kurt Eichhorn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Irma Gonzalez: En Vivo, 1945-1965
    Label: Urtext   Catalog: 189 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Irma Gonzalez,  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Oralia Dominguez  ... 
    Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Salvador Ochoa,  Carlo Felice Cillario,  Anton Guadagno  ... 
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  • 12.
    Per Amore - Opera Arias / Juliane Banse
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93262 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Bedrich Smetana,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Juliane Banse
    Conductor:  Christoph Poppen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    For Eternity / Celine Byrne
    Label: Cd Baby   Catalog: 5637684417 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfredo Catalani,  Antonín Dvorák,  Pablo Luna y Carné,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Celine Byrne
    Conductor:  Marco Zambelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RTE National Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $26.99
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  • 14.
    Elfriede Trötschel - Recordings 1944-1949
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10255 Release Date: 10/15/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Antonín Dvorák,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Performer:  Elfriede Trötschel,  Heinz Sauerbaum,  Lorenz Fehenberger,  Hans Löbel
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Rudolf Kempe
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 15.
    Opera Arias / Barbara Hendricks
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 29338 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfredo Catalani,  Claude Debussy,  Georges Bizet,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Helene Collerette,  Barbara Hendricks
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    CD: $7.99
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  • 16.
    Eleanor Steber - Mozart, Gounod
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60521 Release Date: 05/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Eleanor Steber
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 17.
    Espana - Berganza, Caballe, Carreras, Domingo, Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435852 Release Date: 02/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Anonymous,  Manuel de Falla,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Narciso Yepes,  Teresa Berganza,  Montserrat Caballé,  José Carreras  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Luis Garcia-Navarro,  Leonard Bernstein,  Reynald Giovaninetti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 18.
    Operatic Favorites - Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi, Puccini, Bizet, Gounod / Tredinnick
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 341 Release Date: 07/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Vania Vatralova-Stankov
    Conductor:  Noel Howard Tredinnick
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Bizet: Carmen Highlights / Horne, Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 457901 Release Date: 06/19/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Marcia Baldwin,  Colette Boky,  Marilyn Horne,  James McCracken  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Manhattan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 20.
    Rosalia Chalia: Selected Recordings Of A Forgotten Soprano
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 51007 Release Date: 01/15/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Michael Balfe,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Rosalia Chalia,  Emilio de Gorgoza,  Jane Frankel,  Alberto De Bassini
    CD: $18.49
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  • 21.
    Prom At The Palace - Concert With Te Kanawa, Alagna, Gheorghiu
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 0856 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Malcolm Arnold,  Thomas Augustine Arne,  Sir Edward Elgar,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Roberto Alagna,  Angela Gheorghiu,  Thomas Allen,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Ken Burton,  Richard Waterer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Her Majesty's Royal Marines Band,  BBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
    DVD: $23.99
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  • 22.
    Scene D'amore - Puccini, Verdi, Gounod, Etc / Soile Isokoski, Mikko Franck, Helsinki Po
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1126 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Soile Isokoski
    Conductor:  Mikko Franck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    Icon - Mirella Freni - The Opera Singer
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 06253 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Gustave Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Agnes Baltsa,  Mirella Freni,  José Carreras,  Katia Ricciarelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Franco Ferraris,  Alain Lombard,  Leone Magiera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 24.
    Leontyne Price - The Prima Donna Collection
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61236 Release Date: 07/23/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Benjamin Britten,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Leontyne Price
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 25.
    40 Most Beautiful Arias - Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas, Placido Domingo, Bryn Terfel, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 447164 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Vincenzo Bellini,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Hei-Kyung Hong,  Jennifer Larmore,  Maria Callas,  Hans-Peter Blochwitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Maurizio Barbacini,  Marcello Viotti,  Carlo Rizzi  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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