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

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

Browse 76-100 of 105 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 84.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    The Best Opera Album In The World...ever!
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 42203 Release Date: 07/27/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  José Carreras,  Maria Callas,  Montserrat Caballé,  Roberto Alagna  ... 
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard,  Georges Prętre,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rhine Opera Chorus,  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    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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  • 96.
    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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  • 97.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 98.
    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 Prętre,  Skitch Henderson,  Leone Magiera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 99.
    The Most Famous Opera Duets
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 68129 Release Date: 04/12/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Franco Bonisolli,  Leontyne Price,  Nicolai Gedda,  Mario Sereni  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Thomas Schippers,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $3.99
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  • 100.
    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  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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