Georges Bizet

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Georges Bizet (French: [ʒɔʁʒ bizɛ]; 25 October 1838 – 3 June 1875), registered at birth as Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer of the romantic era. Best known for his operas in a career cut short by his early death, Bizet achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen, which has become one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertoire.

During a brilliant student career at the Conservatoire de Paris, Bizet won many prizes, including the prestigious Prix de Rome in 1857. He was recognised as an outstanding pianist, though he chose not to capitalise on this skill and rarely performed in public. Returning to Paris after almost three years in Italy, he found that the main Parisian opera theatres preferred the established classical repertoire to the works of newcomers. His keyboard and orchestral compositions were likewise largely ignored; as a result, his career stalled, and he earned his living mainly by arranging and transcribing the music of others. Restless for success, he began many theatrical projects during the 1860s, most of which were abandoned. Neither of his two operas that reached the stage in this time—Les pêcheurs de perles and La jolie fille de Perth—were immediately successful.

After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871, during which Bizet served in the National Guard, he had little success with his one-act opera Djamileh, though an orchestral suite derived from his incidental music to Alphonse Daudet's play L'Arlésienne was instantly popular. The production of Bizet's final opera, Carmen, was delayed because of fears that its themes of betrayal and murder would offend audiences. After its premiere on 3 March 1875, Bizet was convinced that the work was a failure; he died of a heart attack three months later, unaware that it would prove a spectacular and enduring success.

Bizet's marriage to Geneviève Halévy was intermittently happy and produced one son. After his death, his work, apart from Carmen, was generally neglected. Manuscripts were given away or lost, and published versions of his works were frequently revised and adapted by other hands. He founded no school and had no obvious disciples or successors. After years of neglect, his works began to be performed more frequently in the 20th century. Later commentators have acclaimed him as a composer of brilliance and originality whose premature death was a significant loss to French musical theatre.

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Discography

Album

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1960 Symphony in C / Jeux d'enfants / La jolie fille de Perth Georges Bizet; Ernest Ansermet, L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande 1
1961 Ibert: Divertissement / Bizet: Jeux d’enfants / Saint‐Säens: Danse macabre / Le rouet d’omphale Ibert, Bizet, Saint‐Saëns; Paris Conservatoire Orchestra, Jean Martinon 1
1964 Carmen (1964 studio cast) Georges Bizet; Maria Callas, Nicolai Gedda, Andréa Guiot, Robert Massard, Chœurs René Duclos, Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris, Georges Prêtre 11
1976 Carmen (1975 studio cast) Bizet; Troyanos, Domingo, van Dam, Te Kanawa, London Philharmonic Orchestra, John Alldis Choir, Sir Georg Solti 5 4
1978 Carmen (1977 studio cast) Georges Bizet; Teresa Berganza, Plácido Domingo, Ileana Cotrubas, Sherrill Milnes, The Ambrosian Singers, London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 5 8
1978 Mussorgsky: Bilder einer Ausstellung / Tschaikowsky: Capriccio italien / Bizet: Carmen Suite No. 1 / Weber: Aufforderung zum Tanz Mussorgsky / Tchaikovsky / Bizet / Weber 1
1981 Rossini, Respighi: La Boutique fantasque / Bizet: L'Arlésienne Suite no. 2, Jeux d'enfants Gioachino Rossini, Ottorino Respighi, Georges Bizet; Toronto Symphony, Andrew Davis 1
1983 Carmen (1982 studio cast) Georges Bizet; Agnes Baltsa, José Carreras, José van Dam, Katia Ricciarelli, Chœur de l’Opéra de Paris, Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 3
1983 Jeux D'enfants - Dolly - Scaramouche Bizet, Fauré, Milhaud; Alfons & Aloys Kontarsky 1
1984 L'œuvre intégrale pour piano seul Georges Bizet; Setrak 4
1985 L'Arlesienne: Suites nos. 1 & 2 / Carmen: Suite no. 1 Bizet; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 1
1985 Bizet: Jeux d'enfants / Ravel: Ma Mère l'Oye / Fauré: Dolly Suite Bizet, Fauré, Ravel; Katia & Marielle Labèque 1
1987 Carmen (1959 studio cast) Georges Bizet; Victoria de los Ángeles, Nicolai Gedda, Janine Micheau, Ernest Blanc, Chœurs National de la Radiodiffusion Française, Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française, Sir Thomas Beecham 4
1987 Orchestral Works, Volume 1 Bizet; Orquesta Filarmónica de la Ciudad de México, Enrique Bátiz 2
1988 L’Arlésienne-Suiten 1 & 2 / Carmen-Suite Georges Bizet; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado 1
1988 Djamileh Georges Bizet; Lamberto Gardelli, Lucia Popp, Franco Bonisolli, Jean‐Philippe Lafont, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Rundfunkorchester 1
1988 L'Arlesienne & Carmen Suites Bizet; Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Charles Dutoit 1
1988 Prokofiev: Classical Symphony / Bizet: Symphony in C / Britten: Simple Symphony Prokofiev, Bizet, Britten; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra 1 2
1988 Symphonie en ut majeur / L'Arlésienne Bizet; Orchestre de l'Opéra de Lyon, Sir John Eliot Gardiner 1
1988 Symphony No. 1 In C / Francesca Da Rimini, Op.32 Bizet,Tchaikovsky-Charles Munch and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 1
1989 Carmen (1988 studio cast) Georges Bizet; Jessye Norman, Neil Shicoff, Mirella Freni, Simon Estes, Chœur de Radio France, Orchestre National de France, Seiji Ozawa 3
1989 Carmen & L'Arlesienne Suites Georges Bizet 3 1
1989 L'Arlesienne, Suites 1 & 2 / Carmen, Suites 1 & 2 Georges Bizet; Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra; János Sándor 1
1989 Les pêcheurs de perles (Chœurs et Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse feat. conductor: Michel Plasson) Georges Bizet 1
1990 Carmen (1963 studio cast, Leontyn Price in title role) Georges Bizet; Leontyne Price, Franco Corelli, Robert Merrill, Mirella Freni, Wiener Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 3
1990 Carmen Georges Bizet; Graciela Alperyn, Giorgio Lamberti, Alan Titus, Doina Palade, Slovak Philharmonic Chorus, Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Rahbari 1
1990 L’Arlésienne Suite 1 and 2 / Symphony no. 1 Georges Bizet; London Festival Orchestra, Alfred Scholz 2
1990 Masterpiece Georges Bizet 1
1991 Carmen (1972 studio cast) Bizet; Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Manhattan Opera Chorus, Leonard Bernstein, Marilyn Horne, James McCracken, Adriana Maliponte, Tom Krause 2
1991 L'Arlésienne / Jeux d'enfants Georges Bizet; The Consort of Voices, Consort of London, Robert Haydon Clark 2
1991 Bizet: L'Arlésienne / Gounod: Symphonies Bizet, Gounod; Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Christopher Hogwood 1
1991 Carmen Suites No. 1 & 2 L'Arlésienne Suite Georges Bizet 1
1991 L'Arlesienne-Suite No. 2 / Symphonie No. 1 Georges Bizet; London Festival Orchestra, Alfred Scholz 1
1992 Smetana: The Moldau / Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream / Bizet: Symphony No. 1 Smetana / Mendelssohn / Bizet 1
1992 Ernest Ansermet L'orchestre de la suisse romande Georges Bizet / Maurice Ravel 1
1992 L'Arlésienne, Suites Nos. 1 & 2 / Carmen, Suites Nos. 1 & 2 (Philharmonia Cassovia feat. conductor: Alfred Walter) Georges Bizet 1
1992 Mendelssohn and Bizet (Vienna Master Series) Felix Mendelssohn & Georges Bizet 1
1992 Symphony No. 1 / La jolie fille de Perth / Jeux d'enfants / Namouna / Norwegian rhapsody / Cello concerto Bizet, Lalo; Orchestre National de l'ORTF, Pierre Fournier, Orchestre Lamoureux, Jean Martinon 1
1993 La Belle Époque Bizet, Lehár, Verdi; Maurice André 1
1993 Carmen (1990 studio cast) Georges Bizet 1
1993 Carmen (1963 studio cast, Regina Resnik in title role) Georges Bizet; L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Thomas Schippers 1
1993 Carmen (1954 live cast) Georges Bizet; Giulietta Simionato, Nicolai Gedda, Hilde Güden, Michel Roux, Chor des Wiener Singvereins, Wiener Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 2
1993 Carmen (Live Tokyo 1958) Georges Bizet 1
1993 Carmen (Chór i Orkiestra Filharmonii Narodowej, director: Jerzy Semkow) Georges Bizet 1
1993 Carmen & L'Arlésienne Suites Bizet; Orchestre des Concerts Lamourex, Igor Markevitch 1
1994 Symphony in C major / Jeux d'enfants / Scènes Bohémiennes Georges Bizet; New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Donald Johanos 1
1994 Bizet: Carmen Suites / Grieg: Peer Gynt Suites Bizet, Grieg; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Mark Ermler 1
1994 Bizet: Symphony no. 1 in C major / Schubert: Symphony no. 1 in D major Bizet, Schubert; Paris Philharmonic Orchestra, René Leibowitz 1
1995 Carmen Bizet; London Festival Orchestra, Alfred Scholz 2
1995 Carmen (highlights) Georges Bizet 1
1995 Carmen (extraits) (1974 studio cast) Bizet ; Régine Crespin, José van Dam, Alain Lombard 4
1995 Carmen / L'Arlésienne Suites / Jeux d'enfants Georges Bizet 1
1995 Carmen: Complete Recording Bizet; Sofia National Opera Orchestra, Sofia National Opera Chorus, Ivan Marinov, Alexandrina Milcheva, Nicola Nikolov, Liliana Vassileva, Nicola Ghiuselev 1
1996 Romantic - Bizet: Carmen Suite, L' Arlesienne Suite; Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream Bizet / Mendelssohn 1
1996 Carmen Bizet; Bayerisches Staatsorchester, Giuseppe Sinopoli 1
1996 Im Herzen der Klassik, Volume 9: Bizet: Carmen (1960? studio cast) Georges Bizet; Alexandrina Milcheva, Lilyana Vassileva, Nikola Nikolov, Nicolai Ghiuselev, Pavel Gerdjikov, Georgi Genov, Chor Bodra Smyana der Nationaloper Sofia, Ivan Marinov 1
1996 Symphony In C / La Jolie Fille de Perth / Partie Georges Bizet 1
1997 Classic Masters: Sonatas para dois pianos Bizet, Milhaud, Mozart, Infante; Karin Lechner, Sergio Tiempo 1
1998 Songs by Bizet Georges Bizet; Ann Murray, Graham Johnson 1
1998 Carmen Bizet; Resnik, del Monaco, Sutherland, Krause 1
1998 L'Arlésienne Suites Nos 1 & 2 / Carmen Suites Nos 1 & 2 Georges Bizet; London Festival Orchestra, Cesare Cantieri 2
1998 Romantische Burgen: L'Arlésienne Suites / Symphony no. 1 Bizet 1
1998 Symphony in C Major / Carmen Suites No. 1 & 2 Bizet; Radio Symphony Orchestra Ljubljana. Anton Nanut 1
1999 Symphony No. 1 / La jolie Fille de Perth / Jeux d'enfants / Rapsodie norvégienne Georges Bizet, Édouard Lalo; Orchestre National de l'ORTF, Jean Martinon 1
1999 Bizet: L'Arlesienne Suite / Jeux D'enfants / Franck: Symphony in D minor Bizet, Franck; Cleveland Orchestra, Lorin Maazel 1
1999 Carmen (1972 studio cast, German) Georges Bizet; Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Giuseppe Patanè 1
1999 Carmen (avec Béatrice Uria-Monzon) Georges Bizet 1
1999 Carmen Suite / L'Arlésienne Suites Bizet; Orchestre de l’Opéra Bastille, Myung-Whun Chung 3
2000 Carmen Georges Bizet; Fiorenza Cossotto, Plácido Domingo, José van Dam 1
2000 Carmen / L’Arlésienne suites / Symphony in C Georges Bizet; Domingo, Carreras, Berganza, Abbado, Giulini 1
2002 Bizet: Carmen Suites Nos. 1 & 2 / Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite Bizet, Grieg; Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin 1
2003 Carmen Suite Georges Bizet, Rodion Shchedrin; Moscow Virtuosi, Vladimir Spivakov 1
2003 Carmen (Orchestre Du Théâtre National De L'Opéra De Paris feat. conductor: Rafael Frühbeck De Burgos) Georges Bizet 2
2003 Carmen Bizet; Gheorghiu, Alagna, Mula, Hampson, La Lauzeta, Chœur "Les Éléments", Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, Plasson 2
2003 Carmen Bizet; Patricia Bardon, Julian Gavin, Garry Magee, Mary Plazas, Philharmonia Orchestra, David Parry 1
2004 魔法使いの弟子~フランス音楽の祭典 ビゼー,デュカス,オッフェンバック/ロザンタール;佐渡裕,フランス放送フィルハーモニー管弦楽団 1
2004 Le docteur Miracle Georges Bizet; Christiane Eda‐Pierre, Robert Massard, Rémy Corazza, Bruno Amaducci 1
2004 Les Pêcheurs de Perles (Paris Opéra Chorus & Orchestra, Cond. Georges Prêtre) Georges Bizet 2
2005 L'Arlésienne / Symphonie en ut / Jeux d'enfants Georges Bizet; London Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado, Orchestre National de l'ORTF, Jean Martinon 1
2005 Les Pecheurs de Perles Georges Bizet 1
2006 Coleção Folha de música clássica, volume 22: Bizet, Grieg Georges Bizet, Edvard Grieg; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 1
2006 Les Pêcheurs de Perles (Die Perlenfischer, deutsch) (Rias Kammerchor & Rias Symphonieorchester, feat. conductor: Artur Rother, singers: Streich, Löhe, Fischer-Dieskau, Lang) Georges Bizet 1
2006 L'Arlésienne-suiten / Jeux D'Enfants / Zigeunerszenen - Gypsy scenes (Rundfunk-Sinfonie-Orchester Berlin feat. conductor: Heinz Rögner) Georges Bizet 1
2006 L'Arlésienne: Incidental Music Georges Bizet; Michel Plasson, Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse 1
2008 Carmen / L’Arlesienne Georges Bizet; Les Musiciens du Louvre · Grenoble, Marc Minkowski 1
2008 L'Alésienne-Suites Nos. 1 & 2; Symphony No. 1 Georges Bizet 1
2009 Bizet Bizet; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 1
2010 Carmen Suite No. 1 & 2 Georges Bizet; London Festival Orchestra, Cesare Cantieri 1
2010 Carmen (Lorin Maazel, soprano: Julia Migenes, tenor; Placido Domingo) Georges Bizet 2
2010 Carmen : Duets & Arias Georges Bizet; Andrea Bocelli, Marina Domashenko, Eva Mei, Bryn Terfel, Myung Whun-Chung, Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France 3
2010 Carmen (Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France feat. tenor: Andrea Bocelli, conductor: Myung-Whun Chung) Georges Bizet 1
2011 Complete Music for Solo Piano Georges Bizet; Julia Severus 1
2012 Carmen (2012 studio cast) Georges Bizet; Magdalena Kožená, Jonas Kaufmann, Genia Kühmeier, Kostas Smoriginas, Berliner Philharmoniker, Simon Rattle 2
2013 L'Enfance Fauré, Bizet, Debussy, Ravel; Claire Désert, Emmanuel Strosser 1
2013 Symphony in C / Jeux d'enfants / Variations chromatiques Georges Bizet; San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Martin West 1
2015 Roma / Marche Funèbre / Patrie Overture / Petite Suite Bizet; RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, Jean-Luc Tingaud 2
2015 Carmen Georges Bizet; Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Lorin Maazel 1
2016 Carmen Georges Bizet; Sascha Goetzel, Ksenija Sidorova 1
Carmen (1950 studio cast) Georges Bizet; Chœurs du Théâtre National de l'Opéra-Comique, Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra-Comique, André Cluytens 1
Carmen Bizet; Pantos, Murgu, Otelli, Izzo D'Amico, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, Roberto Paternostro 1

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