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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 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: 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: Les pêcheurs de perles: Au fond du temple saint

Browse 51-75 of 127 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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  ... 
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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    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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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    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
    CD: $11.99
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  • 69.
    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)  ... 
    On sale! $55.98
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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $34.99
    CD: $13.99
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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    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  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 74.
    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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  • 75.
    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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