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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 76-100 of 127 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Bizet - Greatest Hits
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000233802 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Léopold Simoneau,  René Bianco,  Ileana Cotrubas  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Antal Doráti,  Jean Fournet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Singers,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra
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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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
    CD: $9.99
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  • 79.
    The Opera Band - Mozart, Puccini, Et Al / Amici Forever
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 52739 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Georges Bizet,  Adelmo Fornaciari,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Jo Appleby,  Tsakane Valentine,  Nicholas Garrett,  David Habbin  ... 
    Conductor:  Nick Ingman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Film Orchestra,  Amici Forever
    CD: $9.99
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  • 80.
    Bryn - Bryn Terfel Sings Favorites
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000130502 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Hoagy Carmichael,  William Henry Monk,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Catrin Finch,  Bryn Terfel,  Martin Taylor,  Neil Martin  ... 
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Voices
    CD: $15.99
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  • 81.
    The Very Best Of Nicolai Gedda
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85090 Release Date: 09/02/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Franz Lehár,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Gerald Moore,  Jan Eyron,  Eugenia Zareska  ... 
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli,  Willy Mattes,  Willi Boskovsky,  Franz Allers  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Graunke Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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 [Soprano Vocal] Ponselle,  Emmy Destinn,  Lawrence Tibbett,  Enrico Caruso  ... 
    Conductor:  Erno Rapée,  Carlo Sabajno,  Alberto Erede,  Lorenzo Molajoli  ... 
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  • 85.
    Duetto / Salvatore Licitra, Marcelo Alvarez
    Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 87957 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francesco Sartori,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gabriel Fauré,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marcelo Alvarez,  Salvatore Licitra
    Conductor:  Daniel May
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Kühn Chorus
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  • 86.
    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  ... 
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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Jussi Björling
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89553 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Umberto Giordano,  Giacomo Puccini,  Amilcare Ponchielli  ... 
    Performer:  Jussi Björling,  Robert Merrill,  Emil Markow
    Conductor:  Renato Cellini,  Nils Grevillius
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra,  Royal Stockholm Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 90.
    Opera Obsession! - Opera D'oro's Greatest Hits
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1001 Release Date: 03/05/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Georges Bizet,  Alfredo Catalani,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Martina Arroyo,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Alfredo Kraus  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Armando La Rosa Parodi,  Arturo Basile,  Peter Maag  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 91.
    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 Marchiò
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    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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  • 96.
    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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  • 97.
    Millennium Opera Gala At Roy Thomson Hall
    Label: Cbc Sm 5000 Series   Catalog: 5198 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Calixa Lavallée,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian,  Tracy Dahl,  Gino Quilico,  Catherine Robbin  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bradshaw,  Mario Bernardi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Symphony Orchestra,  Toronto Mendelssohn Choir
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  • 98.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 99.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $12.99
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  • 100.
    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 Picciòli,  Luigi Fort,  Nino Ederle
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