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
Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti: The 3 Tenors Sing Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Bizet, Wagner And More
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 88697757882   Number of Discs: 1
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Bizet: Carmen / Abbado, Berganza, Domingo, Cotrubas, Et Al
Release Date: 03/08/2005   Label: Dg The Originals  
Catalog: 000402902   Number of Discs: 2
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Bizet: Carmen / Karajan, Simionato, Gedda, Vienna So
Release Date: 11/15/2005   Label: Andante  
Catalog: 3100   Number of Discs: 2
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Bizet: Carmen / Reiner, Stevens, Tucker, Silveri, Conner
Release Date: 11/01/2011   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 7961892   Number of Discs: 2
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Bizet: Les pecheurs de perles / Micheau, Dervaux, Theatre National de l'Opera-Comique
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 557372  
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Work: Symphony in C major

Browse 26-49 of 49 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    A Festival Of Ballet
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67063 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Holst,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Susan Bickley,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Catherine Pierard  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe,  André Previn,  Paavo Järvi,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $76.99
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  • 27.
    19th Century Masterpieces
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 98317 Release Date: 11/17/2009   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Paul Dukas,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Emmanuel Pahud,  Aldo Ciccolini,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Michel Plasson,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $116.99
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  • 28.
    Bizet: Symphonie In C, Carmen Suite, Etc / Ozawa
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 63898 Release Date: 05/22/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Berlioz: Les nuits d'ete; Bizet: Symphony; Massenet: Suites; Messager: Fortunio / Gardiner
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4694223 Release Date: 10/20/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet,  André Messager
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    CD: $29.99
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  • 30.
    Bizet: Symphony In C Major, Etc; Debussy: Children's Corner / Leopold Stokowski
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 548 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Basics - French Symphonies - Bizet, Saint-saens, Franck
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 149362 Release Date: 09/09/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  César Franck
    Performer:  Joachim Dalitz,  Jutta Czapski
    Conductor:  Otmar Suitner,  Claus Peter Flor,  Kurt Sanderling,  Günther Herbig
    CD: $14.99
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  • 32.
    Bizet: Symphony In C;  Prokofiev: Classical Symphony
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 417734 Release Date: 01/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 33.
    Bizet: Symphony; Ravel: Ma Mere L'oye, Pavane / Saraste
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 90744 Release Date: 12/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Prokofiev: Classical Symphony; Bizet, Britten / Orpheus CO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423624 Release Date: 10/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Benjamin Britten,  Georges Bizet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Bizet: L'arlésienne Suites, Symphonie En Ut / Pons, Et Al
    Label: Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord   Catalog: 1951675 Release Date: 07/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Josep Pons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Granada City Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Franck: Symphony In D Minor;  Bizet: Symphony In C / Bychkov
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 432096 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Semyon Bychkov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris
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  • 37.
    French Symphonies - Bizet, Saint-saëns, Franck
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1358 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  César Franck,  Georges Bizet,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Joachim Dalitz,  Jutta Czapski
    Conductor:  Günther Herbig,  Otmar Suitner,  Claus Peter Flor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle
    CD: $22.49
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  • 38.
    The French Confection - Offenbach, Et Al / Kapp, Nel,  Et Al
    Label: Ess.a.y Recordings   Catalog: 1094 Release Date: 11/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  César Franck,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Nel
    Conductor:  Richard Kapp
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Virtuosi
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  • 39.
    Bizet : Symphony No. 1, L'arlesienne Suite Nos 1 & 2 / Munch, Gerhardt, Rpo
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 4090 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt,  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Bizet: L'arlesienne Suites 1 & 2, Symphony / Lombard, Strasbourg Philharmonic
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4620822 Release Date: 08/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Alain Lombard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Bizet: Symphony No 1, Etc;  Messiaen / Stokowski
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 242 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Olivier Messiaen
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $9.99
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  • 42.
    Bizet: Symphony in C, L'Arlesienne / Beecham, Royal PO
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 67259 Release Date: 03/14/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Bernstein Century - Bizet: Symphony No 1;  Offenbach, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 61830 Release Date: 07/27/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Jacques Offenbach,  Franz von Suppé
    Performer:  Harold Gomberg
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $8.99
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  • 44.
    French Symphonies - Berlioz, Bizet, Chausson / Saraste, Menuhin, Janowski
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 61513 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Hector Berlioz,  Ernest Chausson
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Marek Janowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Bizet: Symphony In C - Jeux D'enfants
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553027 Release Date: 01/04/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Donald Johanos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 46.
    Bizet: Roma, Symphony No 1 / Lamberto Gardelli, Munich Rso
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 184891 Release Date: 12/12/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 47.
    Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Szell, Stokowski
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 48264 Release Date: 11/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Bizet: Symphonie No 1, Etc;  Lalo / Martinon, Fournier
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 437371 Release Date: 10/05/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Edouard Lalo
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier
    Conductor:  Jean Martinon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Bizet: Carmen Suite, Symphony In C, Etc / López-cobos
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80224 Release Date: 04/11/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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