Georges Bizet

~ Person


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 1870–71, 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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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
L'Arlésienne Suites Nos 1 & 2 / Carmen Suites Nos 1 & 2 Georges Bizet; London Festival Orchestra, Cesare Cantieri 1
L'Arlésienne Suites Nos 1 & 2 / Carmen Suites Nos. 1 & 2 Georges Bizet 1
Les pêcheurs de perles Georges Bizet 1
Les Pêcheurs de perles (André Cluytens - Chœur et Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra-Comique) Georges Bizet 1
Mother Goose Maurice Ravel, Georges Bizet; Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Jukka-Pekka Saraste 1
Operatic Passion - Classic Composers Late Romantic 5 Georges Bizet 1
Ravel: Boléro / Bizet: Carmen‐Suiten Ravel, Bizet; Orchestre Radio Symphonique, Loic Bertrand 1
Suites and Incidental Music Georges Bizet 1
Symphonie en Ut / Roma / Patrie (Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, feat. conductor: Michel Plasson, oboe: Jean-Michel Picard) Georges Bizet 1
The Great Composers: 53 - Carmen (Highlights) Georges Bizet 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1963 Grieg: Peer Gynt Suites / Bizet: L'Arlesienne Suites Grieg, Bizet; Bamberg Symphony, Jonel Perlea, Marcel Couraud 1
1967 Carmen & L’Arlésienne Suites Bizet; Philharmonia Orchestra, Charles Munch 1
1984 Carmen, enregistrement original du film de Francesco Rosi Georges Bizet 1
1984 Greatest Hits (CBS Masterworks Composers’ Greatest Hits) Georges Bizet; Mormon Tabernacle Choir, New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein, Columbia Symphony, André Kostelanetz, Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy 1
1984 Suites "Carmen" 1 & 2 / "L'Arlésienne" 1 & 2 Bizet; London Symphony Orchestra, Neville Marriner 1
1986 Les Triomphes de Karajan Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Rossini, Liszt, Strauss, Bizet, Grieg, Suppé; Karajan 1
1988 Carmen / L'Arlésienne (Suites) Georges Bizet; Slovak Philharmonic, Anthony Bramall 1
1988 L'Arlésienne Suites / Carmen Suites Georges Bizet; Simfonični orkester RTV Slovenija, Anton Nanut 1
1988 Les Pêcheurs de perles/ Ivan IV (extraits) Georges Bizet; Janine Micheau, Nicolai Gedda, Ernest Blanc, Pierre Dervaux, Chœurs du Théâtre National de l'Opéra-Comique, Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra-Comique 2
1989 Carmen: Highlights Bizet; Jessye Norman, Orchestre National de France, Seiji Ozawa 1
1990 Carmen, Suite / L'arlesienne, Suites 1 & 2 Georges Bizet; Herbert von Karajan 1
1990 Ravel: Bolero / Bizet: Carmen Suites Ravel, Bizet; Orchestre radio-symphonique, Loic Bertrand 3
1992 Bizet: Symphony No. 1 / Offenbach: Orpheus in the Underworld Overture / Offenbach, Rosenthal: Gaite Parisenne / Suppé: Galatea Overture - The Royal Edition, Volume: 17 Bizet, Offenbach, Rosenthal, Suppé; New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein 2
1992 The Glenn Gould Edition: Grieg / Bizet / Sibelius Edvard Grieg, Georges Bizet, Jean Sibelius; Glenn Gould 2
1992 Smetana: The Moldau / Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night’s Dream / Bizet: Symphony no. 1 in C major Mendelssohn, Smetana, Bizet; George Szell, Leopold Stokowski 1
1993 Die Klassiksammlung 17: Bizet: Vollkommenheit der Form (London Festival Orchestra feat. conductor: Alfred Scholz) Georges Bizet 3
1994 Bizet: Carmen Suite / L'Arlésienne Suite / Jeux d'enfants / Offenbach: Gaîté Parisienne / Dukas: L'Apprenti Sorcier / Chabrier / Saint-Saëns Bizet, Offenbach, Dukas, Chabrier, Saint-Saëns; Munch, Martinon, Ansermet, Solti 1
1995 Greatest Hits Georges Bizet 1
1996 Die Klassiksammlung 90: Bizet: Französische Eleganz Georges Bizet 2
1997 The Best of Bizet Georges Bizet 1
1997 Carmen Suites / L'Arlésienne Suites Bizet; New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein 2
1997 American Columbia Recordings 1942-1952 Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Rossini, Bizet, Rimsky-Korsakov, Nicolai, Ponchielli; New York Philharmonic, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham 1
1998 Carmen-Suite Nr.1 / L' Arlésienne-Suiten Nr.1 & 2 / Opern-Intermezzi Georges Bizet; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan 1
1999 Masters of the Millennium: Carmen Suite 1 & 2 Georges Bizet; London Festival Orchestra, Alfred Scholz 1
2000 Symphony in C / L’Arlésienne Suites nos. 1 & 2 Georges Bizet; Sir Thomas Beecham, Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 2
2000 Carmen Highlights (Paris Opera Chorus, National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris feat. conductor: Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos) Georges Bizet 1
2002 The Complete Orchestral Works Bizet 1
2003 Carmen (Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse feat. conductor: Michel Plasson) Georges Bizet 2
2005 Symphony in C / Jeux d'Enfants / L'Arlésienne Suites 1 & 2 Bizet; WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Dirk Joeres, London Symphony Orchestra, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Barry Wordsworth 1
2006 Rossini: Ouvertures / Bizet: Carmen Preludes & Ballet Music Gioachino Rossini, Georges Bizet; Ferenc Fricsay 1
2007 Opera Classics (box 4: Carmen - Bizet) Bizet; Michel Plasson 1
2008 Symphony in C / L'Arlésienne Suites Nos. 1 & 2 Bizet; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville Marriner 1
2008 Ravel: Boléro / Borodin: Music from Kismet / Bizet: Suites from Carmen Ravel, Borodin, Bizet; Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Erich Kunzel 1
2009 Grandes compositores da música clássica, Volume 11: Bizet Georges Bizet 1
Bizet: Carmen / Grieg: Peer Gynt Bizet, Grieg; Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin 1
Carmen / L'Arlésienne Georges Bizet 1
Carmen / L'Arlésienne (Suites) (London Symphony Orchestra) Georges Bizet 1
Carmen Suites / L'Arlésienne Suites / Dance of the Hours Bizet, Ponchielli; The Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy 1
Carmen Suites 1 & 2 / L'Arlésienne Suite 1 & 2 (excerpts) Georges Bizet 1
Carmen Suites Nos. 1, 2 / L'Arlesienne Suites Nos. 1, 2 Georges Bizet 1
Carmen Suites Nos. 1, 2 / Symphony No. 1 in C major Georges Bizet 1
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 "Italian", Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture / Bizet: Symphony in C Felix Mendelssohn, Georges Bizet; Ljubljana Symphony Orchestra, Anton Nanut 1
Opera Favourite Highlights: Bizet / Gounod / Rossini Georges Bizet, Charles-François Gounod, Gioachino Rossini 1
Symphony no. 4 “Italian” / Symphony in C Felix Mendelssohn,Georges Bizet, international Concert Orchestra, Viktor Zimmerman 1
The Best of Bizet Georges Bizet 1
The Masters Georges Bizet 1
Universo Classico #3 Georges Bizet 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2000 Carmen (1978 live cast) Georges Bizet; Carlos Kleiber, Elena Obraztsova, Plácido Domingo 5 1
2010 Symphony in C / Jeux d'enfants / Roma Georges Bizet; Orchestre de Paris, Paavo Järvi 1
2011 Carmen (1952 live cast) Georges Bizet; Metropolitan Opera Chorus, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Fritz Reiner 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1944 Carmen Jones (1943 original Broadway cast) Georges Bizet 2
1984 Carmen: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Georges Bizet 1
1991 Carmen Jones (1991 original London cast) Georges Bizet 1
1998 Carmen Jones (1947 radio cast) Georges Bizet 1
2009 Carmen Jones Georges Bizet 1
Carmen: RCA Victor Georges Bizet 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Carmen Suites, No. 1 & 2 / Symphony in C Major Georges Bizet 1
L' arlesienne suites 1 & 2 / Jeux de enfants Georges Bizet 1
Landscape Classics Series, No. 24 Georges Bizet 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1990 L'Arlesienne, Suites 1 & 2 / Carmen, Suites 1 & 2 Georges Bizet; Philharmonia Cassovia, Alfred Walter 1
1998 French Songs Fauré, Hahn, Bizet, Chabrier; Rachel Yakar, Claude Lavoix 1
2000 Carmen (Italiano, Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano, feat. conductor: Lorenzo Molajoli, singers: Buades, Pertile, Franci) Georges Bizet 1
Carmen & L'Arlesienne Suites Georges Bizet 1
Carmen Suite (Eduard Grach Chamber Orchestra) Georges Bizet 1
The Pearl Fishers Georges Bizet 1
The Pearl Fishers (Paris Opera) Georges Bizet 1

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