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, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 08/28/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94404   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Les pęcheurs de perles: Au fond du temple saint

Browse 101-125 of 144 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Opera Obsession! - Opera D'oro's Greatest Hits
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1001 Release Date: 03/05/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Martina Arroyo,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Alfredo Kraus  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Armando La Rosa Parodi,  Arturo Basile,  Peter Maag  ... 
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  • 102.
    Giuseppe Di Stefano - Early Treasures
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93432 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Ciampi,  Stanislas Gastaldon,  Ernesto De Curtis,  Bianca,  ... 
    Performer:  Henri Ottone,  Giuseppe Di Stefano,  Edoardo Moser,  Luigi Marchiň
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 103.
    Rca Red Seal Century - Vocalists
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63860 Release Date: 11/06/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Luisa Tetrazzini,  Titta Ruffo,  Giovanni Martinelli,  Alma Gluck  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack,  Rosario Bourdon,  Renato Cellini,  Marcello Viotti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 104.
    Great Voices Of The Past - Legendary Opera Duets
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8001 Release Date: 08/07/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Charles Gounod,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Herva Nelli,  Ramon Vinay,  Lawrence Tibbett,  Rose Bampton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Alessandro Bonci
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89525 Release Date: 04/24/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Alessandro Bonci,  Ferruccio Corradetti,  Antonio Magini-Coletti
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  • 106.
    The Only Opera Album You'll Ever Need
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5513562 Release Date: 03/31/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Frideric Handel,  Georges Bizet  ... 
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  • 107.
    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  ... 
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  • 108.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Dino Borgioli
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89508 Release Date: 12/19/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Dino Borgioli,  Tommaso Giordani,  José Padilla  ... 
    Performer:  Gino Vanelli,  Dino Borgioli,  Rosetta Pampanini,  Maria Zamboni  ... 
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  • 109.
    Millennium Opera Gala At Roy Thomson Hall
    Label: Cbc Sm 5000 Series   Catalog: 5198 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Calixa Lavallée,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian,  Tracy Dahl,  Gino Quilico,  Catherine Robbin  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bradshaw,  Mario Bernardi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Symphony Orchestra,  Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
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  • 110.
    Prima Voce Vol 2 - Treasury Of Opera - Historic Recordings
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1738 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Félicien César David,  Jacques Offenbach,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Nina Koshetz,  Feodor Chaliapin,  Clement Barone,  Amelita Galli-Curci  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Pasternack,  Franco Ghione,  Rosario Bourdon,  Hans Lange  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 111.
    A-z Of Opera
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555037-38 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold  ... 
    Performer:  Roberto Servile,  Nicola Matinucci,  Thomas Sunnegardh,  Katarina Dalayman  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner,  Will Humburg,  Alexander Rahbari,  Leif Segerstam  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Choir,  Bratislava Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Failoni Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 112.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Nino Ederle, Luigi Fort
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1094 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Franco Vittadini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Picciňli,  Luigi Fort,  Nino Ederle
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  • 113.
    The World's Greatest Arias / Domingo, Price, Heppner, Et Al
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 145660 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Leontyne Price,  Montserrat Caballé,  Placido Domingo,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Nello Santi,  Renato Cellini,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Victor Orchestra  ... 
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  • 114.
    The Only Classical Album You'll Ever Need
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 5513322 Release Date: 09/02/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Orff,  Antonín Dvorák,  Edvard Grieg,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
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  • 115.
    Label: Avid Master Series   Catalog: 551 Release Date: 07/18/2000  
    Composer:  Eduardo Di Capua,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Georges Bizet,  Ernesto De Curtis  ... 
    Performer:  Enrico Caruso,  Beniamino Gigli,  Joseph Schmidt,  Tito Schipa  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Dino Olivieri,  Giuseppe Antonicelli,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra
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  • 116.
    Sounds Of Excellence - Great Music From The Opera
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 671 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    CD: $3.99
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  • 117.
    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  ... 
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  • 118.
    Prima Voce - Beniamino Gigli In Opera And Song
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1763 Release Date: 01/27/1998   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Beniamino Gigli
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  • 119.
    Heroes - Nicolai Gedda - Mozart, Puccini, Rossini, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66535 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Lehár  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Ernest Blanc,  André Mallabrera
    Conductor:  Gika Zdravkovitch,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine,  Josef Krips  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 120.
    The Only Opera Cd You'll Ever Need
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 68823 Release Date: 10/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Anna Moffo,  Helen Donath,  Roberta Peters,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Lorin Maazel,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $3.99
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  • 121.
    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  ... 
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  • 122.
    Prima Voce - Vilhelm Herold
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7880 Release Date: 12/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Peter Heise,  Henrik Rung,  Niels Gade  ... 
    Performer:  Vilhelm Herold
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  • 123.
    James Levine's 25th Anniversary - Metropolitan Opera Gala
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 449177 Release Date: 10/15/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Strauss,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Grace Bumbry,  Karita Mattila,  Hĺkan Hagegĺrd,  Anne Sofie von Otter  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
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  • 124.
    French Bonbons / Parkes, Grimethorpe Colliery Band
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 4542 Release Date: 09/24/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Georges Bizet,  Charles Gounod,  Benjamin Godard  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Beatty,  Mike Kilroy,  Richard Marshall
    Conductor:  Major Peter Parkes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grimethorpe Colliery Band
    CD: $11.99
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  • 125.
    The Best Of Bizet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551191 Release Date: 07/30/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Graciela Alperyn,  Igor Morozov,  Janez Lotric
    Conductor:  Donald Johanos,  Alexander Rahbari,  Anthony Bramall,  Johannes Wildner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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