Georges Bizet


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 Suites & L'Arlesienne Suites / Gonzalez, Barcelona Symphony
Release Date: 10/13/2017   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573546   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Djamileh / Borowicz, Poznan Philharmonic
Release Date: 06/15/2018   Label: Dux Records  
Catalog: 1412   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen (Highlights)
Release Date: 01/28/1994   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8550727   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Symphony In C - Jeux D'enfants
Release Date: 01/04/1996   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553027   Number of Discs: 1
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Classics Explained - An Introduction To Bizet: Carmen
Release Date: 07/16/2002   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8558010   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Les pêcheurs de perles: Au fond du temple saint

Browse 51-75 of 93 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Opera Fantasies For Violin / Sohn, Loeb, Nuttall
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570202 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Jenö Hubay,  Joachim Raff,  Osvaldo Golijov  ... 
    Performer:  Livia Sohn,  Benjamin Loeb,  Geoff Nuttall
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  • 52.
    José Luccioni - Recordings 1935-1948
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10152 Release Date: 06/12/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  José Luccioni,  Charles Cambon,  Suzanne Juyol,  Pierre Deldi  ... 
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  • 53.
    The Berlin Concert: Live From The Waldbühne / Domingo, Netrebko, Villazón
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000870409 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Pablo Sorozabal,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Anna Netrebko,  Rolando Villazón
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra
    DVD: $27.49
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  • 54.
    The Essential Collection - Great Tenors / Mccormack, Et Al
    Label: West End Records   Catalog: 891 Release Date: 02/20/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Arrigo Boito,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Ferruccio Tagliavini,  Jussi Björling,  Titta Ruffo,  Enrico Caruso  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Nils Grevillius,  Umberto Berrettoni,  Rosario Bourdon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Berlin State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 55.
    Reverie / John Stevens, Martha Fischer, Katie Stevens
    Label: Summit Records   Catalog: 446 Release Date: 05/23/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Stevens,  Eric Ewazen,  Traditional,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  John Stevens,  Martha Fischer,  Katie Stevens
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  • 56.
    Hyppolite Belhomme & Léon Beyle - Recordings 1905-1910
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10027 Release Date: 04/27/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Louis Ferdinand Herold,  Ambroise Thomas,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Léon Beyle,  Rose Heilbronner,  Hyppolite Belhomme,  Jane Marignan  ... 
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  • 57.
    Metropolitan Opera Gala - James Levine's 25th Anniversary
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000460209 Release Date: 11/22/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Charles Gounod,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Renée Fleming,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Jerry Hadley,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    DVD: $34.99
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  • 58.
    East Village Opera Company
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000518102 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra,  East Village Opera Company
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  • 59.
    Original Masters - The Art Of Fritz Wunderlich
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000480702 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Hübsch,,  Traditional,  Osman Perez Freire  ... 
    Performer:  Fritz Wunderlich,  Hermann Prey,  Hubert Giesen,  Ingeborg Hallstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Carste,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Robert Stolz,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Graunke Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Die Spilar-Schrammeln (salon orchestra)  ... 
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  • 60.
    The Classical Album 2005
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000529102 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Agustín Lara,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Andrea Bocelli,  Lorin Maazel,  Bryn Terfel,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Nicholas Cleobury,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 61.
    Essential Opera
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000491402 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Charles Gounod,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Cecilia Bartoli,  Leo Nucci,  Michael Kraus,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Richard Bonynge,  Sir Georg Solti,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 62.
    The Very Best Of Thomas Hampson
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86332 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Stephen Foster,  Charles Wakefield Cadman  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  Geoffrey Parsons,  Jay Ungar,  Molly Mason  ... 
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi,  Roger Norrington,  Franz Welser-Möst,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra of St. Luke's,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 63.
    100 Best Opera Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 862112 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Lakes,  Maria Callas,  Tito Gobbi,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  James Conlon,  Alceo Galliera,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    Grand Opera Gala / Hughes, Norman, Evans, Maxwell, Royal Po
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85952 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Deborah Norman,  Donald Maxwell,  Wynne Evans
    Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Choral Society
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  • 65.
    Bandstand - A Musical Walk In The Park
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1129 Release Date: 02/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lionel Monckton,  Traditional,  Georges Bizet,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Corps of Royal Engineers Fanfare Trumpeters
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  • 66.
    A Night At The Opera / Rosenkrans, Thomas, Jepson, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557309 Release Date: 11/16/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Richard Strauss,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Indra Thomas,  Valerian Ruminski,  Mariusz Kwiecien,  Kristine Jepson  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Rosekranz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Prima Voce - Bjorling, Caruso, Gigli
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7913 Release Date: 03/02/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Eduardo Di Capua  ... 
    Performer:  Beniamino Gigli,  Jussi Björling,  Enrico Caruso,  Giuseppe de Luca
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  • 68.
    Ramon Vargas - Between Friends / Sutej, Gauci, Nucci, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 52440 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Lavarina,  Ramón Vargas,  Vesselina Kasarova,  Manuel Lanza  ... 
    Conductor:  Vjekoslav Sutej
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan
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  • 69.
    Label: Idis   Catalog: 6403 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Pietro Mascagni,  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Halévy  ... 
    Performer:  Beniamino Gigli,  Annamaria Borrelli,  Giuseppe Taddei,  Enrico Sivieri  ... 
    Conductor:  Nino Antonellini,  Nino Sanzogno,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
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  • 70.
    The Pearl Fishers And Other Famous Operatic Duets
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555797 Release Date: 08/19/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Janez Lotric,  Igor Morozov,  Kaludi Kaludov,  Miriam Gauci  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner,  Alexander Rahbari,  Will Humburg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Chorus,  Jaak Gregoor Chorus  ... 
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  • 71.
    Neil Shicoff Live
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 561031 Release Date: 07/29/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jules Massenet,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Neil Shicoff,  Vladimir Chernov
    Conductor:  Frédéric Chaslin,  Marcello Viotti,  Fabio Luisi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 72.
    Great Voices Of The Past - Favorite French Excerpts
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 8016 Release Date: 07/01/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Halévy,  Gustave Charpentier,  Edouard Lalo  ... 
    Performer:  Rosa Ponselle,  Emmy Destinn,  Lawrence Tibbett,  Enrico Caruso  ... 
    Conductor:  Erno Rapée,  Carlo Sabajno,  Alberto Erede,  Lorenzo Molajoli  ... 
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  • 73.
    Rapture - Opera's Most Heavenly Moments
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471717 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Teresa Berganza,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Richard Bonynge,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 74.
    The Opera Album / Alagna, Callas, Pavarotti, Gheorghiu, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67830 Release Date: 08/13/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Giacomo Puccini,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Hampson,  José Carreras,  Jessye Norman,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianluigi Gelmetti,  Riccardo Muti,  Alain Lombard,  Klaus Tennstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toscana Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Rhine Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD: $23.99
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  • 75.
    Classics Explained - An Introduction To Bizet: Carmen
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8558010 Release Date: 07/16/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Janez Lotric,  Boris Morozov
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner,  Alexander Rahbari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava
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