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 solfège 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 pêcheurs 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 Geneviève 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'arlèsienne 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: The Pearl Fishers Highlights In English / Cohen
Release Date: 09/30/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3156   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Les pêcheurs de perles: Au fond du temple saint

Browse 126-144 of 144 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    World Of Opera Favourites
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 448053 Release Date: 11/06/1995  
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
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  • 127.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Heinrich Schlusnus Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89110 Release Date: 08/22/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Heinrich Schlusnus,  Robert Hutt,  Selma Kurz
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  • 128.
    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  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 129.
    Il Mito Dell'opera - Alessandro Bonci
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 1062 Release Date: 04/18/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Alessandro Bonci,  Ferruccio Corradetti,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Maria Pia Pagliarini  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 130.
    Operatic Duets For Tenor And Baritone / Lotric, Morozov
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 553030 Release Date: 03/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Janez Lotric,  Igor Morozov
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Slovak State Opera Chorus
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  • 131.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Giuseppe De Luca Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89073 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Beniamino Gigli,  Giuseppe de Luca,  Amelita Galli-Curci,  Grace Anthony  ... 
    Conductor:  Rosario Bourdon,  Giulio Setti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
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  • 132.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Marcel Wittrisch
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89024 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Peter Cornelius,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Marcel Wittrisch,  Margarete Klose,  Wilhelm Strienz,  Margarete Teschemacher  ... 
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  • 133.
    Opera's Greatest Duets / Pavarotti, Price, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 62699 Release Date: 09/27/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Puccini,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo,  Montserrat Caballé,  Shirley Verrett  ... 
    Conductor:  Anton Guadagno,  Georges Prêtre,  Skitch Henderson,  Leone Magiera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 134.
    The Best Of Bizet
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 442272 Release Date: 05/10/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Marie-Francoise Bucquet,  Albert Lance,  Jane Rhodes  ... 
    Conductor:  Roberto Benzi,  Uwe Christian Harrer,  Jean Fournet,  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 135.
    Bel Canto - Famous Opera Arias
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 321931 Release Date: 03/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Luigi Cherubini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Kurt Moll,  Edita Gruberova,  Lucia Aliberti  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Graf,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Heinz Wallberg  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Chorus Women,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 136.
    Giuseppe De Luca - Recorded 1906-1930
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 9967 Release Date: 01/21/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe de Luca,  Enrico Caruso,  Elisabeth Rethberg,  Amelita Galli-Curci  ... 
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  • 137.
    Famous Duets / Bergonzi & Fischer-dieskau, Lopez-cobos
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 28821 Release Date: 01/20/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Carlo Bergonzi,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 138.
    Prima Voce - Beniamino Gigli Vol 2 1925-1940
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7817 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giulio Caccini,  Francesco Cilèa,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe de Luca,  Beniamino Gigli
    CD: $11.99
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  • 139.
    Opera's Greatest Moments - Domingo, Price, Caballe, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 61440 Release Date: 11/10/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky,  Robert Merrill,  Placido Domingo,  Helen Donath  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Nello Santi,  Giuseppe Patané  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 140.
    Fritz Wunderlich
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435145 Release Date: 04/14/1992   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Robert Stolz,  Ludwig Schmidseder,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Hermann Prey,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Hubert Giesen,  Erika Köth  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn,  Robert Stolz,  Franz Josef Breuer,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Volksoper Orchestra  ... 
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  • 141.
    Jussi Bjorling- Pearl Fishers Duet, Etc / Tebaldi, Merrill
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 7799 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Robert Merrill,  Jussi Björling,  Emil Markow,  Tommaso Frascati  ... 
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Jonel Perlea
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra
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  • 142.
    Label: Living Era   Catalog: 5155 Release Date: 04/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Manuel de Falla,  Joaquin Valverde,  Francisco Tarrega  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Joan Hammond,  Conchita Supervia,  Andrés Segovia  ... 
    Conductor:  Nils Grevillius,  Leslie Heward,  Gustav Cloëz,  Otto Dobrindt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Rosario Bourdon
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  • 143.
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 9129 Release Date: 10/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Various Artists,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Aureliano Pertile,  Ivan Kozlovsky,  Leo Slezak,  Tito Schipa  ... 
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