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
Release Date: 08/28/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94404   Number of Discs: 3
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Bizet: L'arlésienne Suites, Etc / José Serebrier
Release Date: 03/30/2004   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1305   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Les pęcheurs de perles: Au fond du temple saint

Browse 51-75 of 144 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    A Night At The Opera: The Greatest Arias & Duets
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 788897 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Yvonne Kenny,  David Hobson,  Teddy Tahu Rhodes [Baritone Vocals],  Rita Hunter  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Dyer,  Marco Guidarini,  Thomas Woods,  Anthony Walker  ... 
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  • 52.
    La Belle Vie - French Opera Fantasie / Bell' Alma Duo
    Label: Ten Thousand Lakes   Catalog: 126 Release Date: 04/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Taffanel,  Daniel Strum,  Claude Debussy,  Henri Duparc  ... 
    Performer:  Michele Frisch,  Kathy Kienzle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell' Alma Duo
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  • 53.
    The Pavarotti Story
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001102160 Release Date: 04/22/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jacques Reveaux,  Adolphe Adam,  Elton John,  Brian Eno  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Frank Sinatra,  Elton John,  Brian Eno  ... 
    Conductor:  Bill Miller,  Kurt Adler,  Marco Armiliato,  Michael Kamen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Turin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 54.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - John Mccormack
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89697 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  John McCormack,  Lucrezia Bori,  Mario Sammarco,  Josephine Jacobi  ... 
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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    Domingo - Opera Duets With Milnes And Ricciarelli
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 62595 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Riccardo Zandonai  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Sherrill Milnes,  Katia Ricciarelli
    Conductor:  Anton Guadagno,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Classical Ecstasy - Classics For A New Age
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 23041 Release Date: 02/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Johann Pachelbel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Leontyne Price,  Paul Nicholson,  Richard Stoltzman,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Robert Salter,  Alexander Schneider,  Renato Cellini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,  Guildhall String Ensemble,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 58.
    Jussi Björling In Concert
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1007 Release Date: 02/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henry Ernest Geehl,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Zinka Milanov,  Leonard Warren  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Robert Shaw Chorale
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  • 59.
    Opera Gala - Live From Baden - Baden
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001061402 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruperto Chapi,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Elina Garanca,  Ludovic Tézier,  Ramón Vargas,  Anna Netrebko
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 60.
    The Opera Gala - Live from Baden-Baden / Netrebko, Vargas
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001039209 Release Date: 01/08/2008  
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Ruperto Chapi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Ludovic Tézier,  Elina Garanca,  Ramón Vargas,  Anna Netrebko
    Conductor:  Marco Armiliato
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Cinema Classics 2007 - Classical Music Made Famous In Films
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556834 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  Bernd Glemser,  Elena Filipova,  Priti Coles,  Jénö Jandó  ... 
    Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset,  Michael Halász,  Antoni Wit,  Kevin Mallon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iceland Symphony Orchestra,  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 62.
    Symphonic Brass - Verdi, Bizet, Gershwin, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570726 Release Date: 11/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  John T. Williams,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas J. Childs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Black Dyke Mills Band
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  • 63.
    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,  Joseph Joachim Raff,  Osvaldo Golijov  ... 
    Performer:  Livia Sohn,  Benjamin Loeb,  Geoff Nuttall
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  • 64.
    10 Great Tenors
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 1203165 Release Date: 08/14/2007   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Friedrich von Flotow,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Ferruccio Tagliavini,  Mario Lanza,  Enrico Caruso,  Mario Del Monaco  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Constantin Callinicos,  Tomaso Benintende-Neglia,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Orchestra,  MGM Studio Orchestra,  Milan Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 65.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Jean Borthayre
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89681 Release Date: 07/17/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Angelici,  Jean Borthayre,  Robert Jeantet,  Victoria de los Angeles  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Alberto Erede,  René Leibowitz,  Pierre Monteux  ... 
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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    Great Opera Duets
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 82619 Release Date: 05/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    On sale! $7.97
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  • 68.
    The Berlin Concert: Live From The Waldbühne / Domingo, Netrebko, Villazón
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000870409 Release Date: 04/10/2007  
    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
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  • 69.
    Everybody's Opera
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000707102 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Nucci,  Teresa Berganza,  Joan Edwards,  Margreta Elkins  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Patané,  Edward Downes,  Richard Bonynge,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bologna Teatro Comunale Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 70.
    Best Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70853 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gioachino Rossini,  Alexander Borodin,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Henriette Puig-Roget,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Heather Harper  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Musicum,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart,  Polish Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 71.
    Presenting David Hobson
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4765690 Release Date: 08/12/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ennio Morricone,  Randy Newman,  George Frideric Handel,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Shefali Pryor,  David Hobson,  Phil Buckle,  Teddy Tahu Rhodes [Baritone Vocals]  ... 
    Conductor:  Guy Noble,  Anthony Walker,  Marco Guidarini,  Thomas Woods  ... 
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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    Metropolitan Opera Gala - James Levine's 25th Anniversary
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000460209 Release Date: 11/22/2005  
    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: $39.99
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  • 75.
    East Village Opera Company
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000518102 Release Date: 09/27/2005  
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra,  East Village Opera Company
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