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Georges Bizet

October 25, 1838 - June 3, 1875
born in Paris, France, composed during the Romantic period
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 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. ~ Rovi Staff, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Bizet: Carmen (Complete Opera); Mirella Freni; Jon Vickers; Grace Bumbry

Disc 1
Title: Carmen, Opera
Disc 2
x

Track List: Bizet - Carmen / Gheorghiu · Alagna · Capitole de Toulouse · Plasson

Disc 1
Title: Carmen, Opéra-comique In 4 Acts
Disc 2
Disc 3
x

Track List: Bizet: Carmen

Disc 1
Title: Carmen, Opera
Disc 2
Disc 3
x

Track List: Bizet: Carmen - Suites 1 & 2, L'arlesienne - Suites 1 & 2

Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 1, From The Incidental Music
Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 2, From The Incidental Music (Arranged By Ernest Guirard)
Title: Carmen Suite For Orchestra No. 1 (Assembled By Ernest Guirard)
Title: Carmen Suite For Orchestra No. 2 (Assembled By Ernest Guirard)
x

Track List: Bizet: Carmen Suites 1 & 2; L'Arlesienne Suites 1 & 2

Title: Carmen Suite For Orchestra No. 1 (Assembled By Ernest Guirard)
Title: Carmen Suite For Orchestra No. 2 (Assembled By Ernest Guirard)
Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 1, From The Incidental Music
Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 2, From The Incidental Music (Arranged By Ernest Guirard)
x

Track List: Bizet: Carmen, L'Arlesienne, Etc.

Title: Overture "Patrie", For Orchestra, Op. 19
Title: Carmen Suites For Orchestra Nos. 1 & 2 (Assembled By Ernest Guirard)
Title: Petite Suite, Pieces (5) For Orchestra (Orchestration Of Jeux D'enfants Nos. 6, 3, 2, 11, 12)
Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 1, From The Incidental Music
Title: La Jolie Fille De Perth, Orchestral Suite
x

Track List: Bizet: L'Arlésienne; Carmen Suites Nos. 1 & 2

Title: Carmen Suite For Orchestra No. 1 (Assembled By Ernest Guirard)
Title: Carmen Suite For Orchestra No. 2 (Assembled By Ernest Guirard)
Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 1, From The Incidental Music
Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 2, From The Incidental Music (Arranged By Ernest Guirard)
x

Track List: Bizet: Oeuvres Pianistiques

Title: Variations Chromatiques De Concert, For Piano
Title: Casilda, Polka-mazurka For Piano
Title: Nocturne For Piano No. 1 In F Major
Title: Carmen Suite For Orchestra No. 2 (Assembled By Ernest Guirard)
Title: Extase, For Piano (uncertain Authenticity)
Title: Grande Valse De Concert, For Piano In E Flat Major
Title: Danse D'Almées, For Piano (uncertain Authenticity)
Title: Les Chants Du Rhin, Pieces (6) For Piano
Title: Chanson Provençale, For Piano (uncertain Authenticicty)
Title: Carnaval, Transcription For 2 Pianos Or Piano After The Finale Of Symphony "Roma"
x

Track List: Bizet: Orchestral Works

Disc 1
Title: Symphony In C Major ("No. 1")
Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 1, From The Incidental Music
Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 2, From The Incidental Music (Arranged By Ernest Guirard)
Title: La Jolie Fille De Perth, Orchestral Suite
Disc 2
Title: Overture "Patrie", For Orchestra, Op. 19
Title: Carmen, Opera
Title: Petite Suite, Pieces (5) For Orchestra (Orchestration Of Jeux D'enfants Nos. 6, 3, 2, 11, 12)
Title: Roma, Symphony For Orchestra In C Major
x

Track List: L'arlesienne, Suites Nos.1 & 2; Carmen 1 & 2

Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 1, From The Incidental Music
Title: L' Arlésienne, Suite For Orchestra No. 2, From The Incidental Music (Arranged By Ernest Guirard)
Title: Carmen Suite For Orchestra No. 1 (Assembled By Ernest Guirard)
Title: Carmen Suite For Orchestra No. 2 (Assembled By Ernest Guirard)

Comments

Can't understand a word bit I like it. Hope they have some Marian Anderson up in here somewhere:)
arubalcabacp a
Exquisite but I miss Denyse Graves' arias
Okay but whose the Dashingly handsome Man with the bedroom eyes on the Cover.....Yu m m y
But im not tired boss Man :::::::::::: w i n k : : : : : : :
This track has so much swag. This joint is dope.
tsundell
Bel canto.
docdglobal-v o c h o
Très magnifique, n'est pas?
Row now this music is not only classic but enjoyable
so beautiful I weep
classic
beautiful
Bellissimo!
treysonsherr a t t
Ψήφους γήπεδο εθίγη βγήκαν υγροποιημένο
Beautifully sang
Lmaooo!! This song. So funny. Remind me best parts in movies :D
Carmen est magnifique !
I suppose it's odd, I like opera, but I love alternative rock too and techno. @_@
haloxbox93
It doesnt matter what grade you are in or how old you are to like a song Allahandra
I'm only in 7th grade and I love this song
Especially since the quality version of Pandora One isn't free. If I wanted to read a bunch of spam I'd check my e-mail!
Please quit hogging up the msg boards with these statements about one thing you tried or another as not being fake especially once it's already been posted. One post is enough or you're just being rude. Most people do not come on here to be bombarded with information. Please heed my warning... once is enough!! I'm looking into a way to have some of this idiotic behaviour blocked for good....
nir817
This freaked me out This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in the next ten minutes, you will have the best day of your life tomorrow. You will either get kissed or asked out, if you break this chain you will see a little dead girl in your room tonight. In the next 53 minutes someone will say I love you or I'm sorry This freaked me out This isn't fake
This freaked me out This isn't fake. Apparently, if you copy and paste this on ten comments in the next ten minute
1012790612
pretty
Wonder why he died because "failure"? SOME FAILURE
OMG Carmen is my absolute favorite opera... Well.. Besides selections from the phantom of the opera...
highphlyer8
However short the snippet, it's still wonderful... . . . . . . .
Carmen is one of the greatest operas EVER!!!!!!!!
Wonderful!!
I love this song and i am so interested in opera weird though but yea I can actually sing it a little
seawild
Loney Tunes!
My name is Carmen!
Oh that beloved movie UP..The music made it all happen...suz i
kikijoy97
They use this song in Up :)
krishikriya
This is definitely one of the better operas
And Bizet crooked at 38. Mozart, Chopin and now Bizet. They shoulddah changed jobs. Their employers mustta had lousy health care plans...or they weren't getting enough spinach. DMB
The photos of these guys and being able to see what they look like is cool too. You might meet them on a bus or pass them on the street and you could say hi! (and don't tell me you don't know somebody who looks like Georges Bizet...Well , hi Georges!) You just might get lucky. DMB
.....and oh, cat.artbykop i w o d a , an old Lacota Sioux Indian maxim I got from an old Lacota Sioux Indian is that A man lives as long as the last person who remembers him. Art is communicatio n and has a point of origination and point of reciept. The absence of one or the other means no art. As a fellow admiring listener I hope that helps. Chow. DMB
Say, this is really a refined, BMW, pollo pony, tea and croissant crowd on this station. You hoyde-toyde arristocrate types don't mind if a dirty ol ex-truck driver horns in do you? I used to think opera ----ed until I stumbled across Luciano Pavarotti one day. Increadable voice, magnificent man. Same way with classical music. And now I'm a sponge for both. So, whaddah ya say guys? You have a croissant and George Bizet for me? (I'll settle for a stale Kaiser roll and Lawerance Welk.) DMB
cat.artbykop i w o d a
the 'GOOD' die young BUT 'live on' and we are proof as admiring listeners.
Although Bizet was never in Spain, his imagination is just so amazing. I really have always been captivated by his music that fit each scene of
his famous opera Carmen.
I think it's funny that he'd never been to Spain but he managed to capture it pretty well in Carmen.
And Georges is pronounced Zshorzsh... that's the closest I can transcribe it without using the IPA. It's not Jor-juhs.
goodman881
I also agree with those raising the issue of how you program the selections. I feel cheated and frustrated when I only hear one movement of a symphony or concerto and then you jump to something totally unrelated. You also totally ignore the balance of other works on the album.
I usually pick first by composer then by performers. I picked a John Williams and immediately you sent me a bunch of movie composers and their sound tracks.
mldurant
She's a mezzo, actually. And I agree, she should be credited here.
fancifr
I agree entirely, why not play a full first, second or third act?
Please, please can we here ALL the pieces in their entirety. We are grown-ups with attention spans longer than 2 minutes!
唯美。
esconstant
The comment is not about the composer or the opera (both are sublime), but why don't they name the soprano??
Love it!
Bizet Symphonie #1 toujours a été un préféré du mien
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