Georges Bizet

French romantic composer. Born 25 October 1838. Died 3 June 1875
Georges Bizet
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1838-10-25
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Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet Biography (BBC)

Equipped with one of the quickest brains in musical France, Bizet took most of his 36 years to link it up with an equally exceptional artistic vision and imaginative power. His Variations chromatiques (1868) for piano is a virtuoso exploration of quick-changing harmonies that is almost as strenuous to listen to as to play. The humane qualities showed fitfully in his prolific early output of operas, as he found his way through a maze of French and Italian influences. Almost as soon as his own creative voice had fully developed, he died, on the 33rd night of the premiere run of Carmen.

While Bizet was studying in Paris, he absorbed a varied range of music and could apparently emulate it all. At 17 he was entrusted by Gounod with making keyboard versions of the senior composer’s two symphonies, and immediately composed one of his own in very similar style but with extra sparkle and energy. At 19 his first opera, Le docteur Miracle (1857), offered a mix of bel canto imitation and fresh ideas. After time out in Italy, as a result of winning the Prix de Rome, he wrote Les pêcheurs de perles (‘The Pearl Fishers’, 1863) at 25. It showed he now knew his French opera composers and could do it their way, with a flair for melody and theatrical effectiveness, and it still holds a place in the repertory.

More eclectic works, La jolie fille de Perth (freely adapted from Walter Scott, 1866) and Djamileh (1871), followed without causing a major stir; his leisurely orchestral suite Souvenirs de Rome, later called simply Roma (1860–68), went down better; and then around 1872 everything came into focus. His incidental music for a production of Daudet’s play L’Arlésienne had a concise simplicity of form, sharpness of character and beauty of expression that would make it a staple concert item. A Petite suite for orchestra, scored from his set of piano duets Jeux d’enfants (1871), made a similar impact. In the same year, 1873, he started work on Carmen.

The opera became a success a few months too late for Bizet to know. The Paris performances suffered from haste and last-minute changes, and it was Vienna, later in 1875, that first responded to Carmen as it deserved. For Bizet’s newly clarified and luminous musical language had proved its viability at full stretch. Presented with the archetypal character of a free and personally powerful woman, adapted from Prosper Mérimée’s novel, and the tragedy of her encounter with two contrasted but equally archetypal male mixtures of maximum testosterone and minimum sensitivity, Bizet responded with music of astonishing immediacy and expressive force and bold dramatic timing. The quality and the emotional aptness of its melodies have made Carmen a popular favourite with audiences – as much as connoisseurs – ever since.

Profile © Robert Maycock

Georges Bizet Biography (Wikipedia)

Georges Bizet (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.

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Georges Bizet Performances & Interviews


Georges Bizet Tracks

Georges Bizet
L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Carmen)
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L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Carmen)

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Georges Bizet
Petite Suite 'Jeux d'enfants' (Trompette et tambour)
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Petite Suite 'Jeux d'enfants' (Trompette et tambour)
Georges Bizet
Jeux d'enfants, Op 22 (Saute-mouton)
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Jeux d'enfants, Op 22 (Saute-mouton)
Georges Bizet
L'Arlesienne Suite no. 1: Adagietto
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L'Arlesienne Suite no. 1: Adagietto
Georges Bizet
Carmen Suite No 2 (Danse bohème)
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Carmen Suite No 2 (Danse bohème)
Georges Bizet
Habanera (Carmen)
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Habanera (Carmen)
Georges Bizet
Entracte, Acte 3 (Carmen)
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Entracte, Acte 3 (Carmen)
Georges Bizet
Toreador Song and Habanera (Carmen Suite No 2)
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Toreador Song and Habanera (Carmen Suite No 2)
Georges Bizet
Variations on a theme from Bizet's Carmen
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Variations on a theme from Bizet's Carmen
Georges Bizet
L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Prelude)
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L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Prelude)
Georges Bizet
La Garde Montante (Carmen Suite no 2)
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La Garde Montante (Carmen Suite no 2)
Georges Bizet
L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Carillon)
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L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Carillon)
Georges Bizet
Le bal - Galop (Jeux d'enfants)
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Le bal - Galop (Jeux d'enfants)
Georges Bizet
Au fond temple saint (The Pearl Fishers)
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Au fond temple saint (The Pearl Fishers)
Georges Bizet
L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Carmen)
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L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Carmen)
Georges Bizet
L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Minuet)
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L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Minuet)
Georges Bizet
Roma
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Roma
Georges Bizet
Avec la garde montante (Carmen)
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Avec la garde montante (Carmen)
Georges Bizet
Au Fond Du Temple Saint
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Au Fond Du Temple Saint
Georges Bizet
L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Carillon)
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L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Carillon)

L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Carillon)

Orchestra
Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenobles
Last played on
Georges Bizet
Carmen, Act 1, Scene 4, No.5a 'L'amour est enfant de boheme'
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Carmen, Act 1, Scene 4, No.5a 'L'amour est enfant de boheme'
Georges Bizet
Carmen Suite No.1
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Carmen Suite No.1
Georges Bizet
Symphony in C major
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Symphony in C major
Georges Bizet
Jeux d'enfants (Petite Suite) for orchestra
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Jeux d'enfants (Petite Suite) for orchestra
Georges Bizet
L'Arlesienne Suites Nos.1 & 2
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L'Arlesienne Suites Nos.1 & 2
Georges Bizet
L'Arlesienne Suite No 2: Farandole
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L'Arlesienne Suite No 2: Farandole
Georges Bizet
Symphony No 1 in C major (3rd mvt)
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Symphony No 1 in C major (3rd mvt)
Georges Bizet
Danse Boheme
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Danse Boheme
Georges Bizet
L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Carillon)
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L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Carillon)
Georges Bizet
Carmen Fantasy for violin and orchestra
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Carmen Fantasy for violin and orchestra
Georges Bizet
Carmen: A la bohemienne
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Carmen: A la bohemienne
Georges Bizet
Flower aria (Carmen)
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Flower aria (Carmen)

Flower aria (Carmen)

Orchestra
New York Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Last played on
Georges Bizet
Carmen Suite No 1 (Les toréadors)
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Carmen Suite No 1 (Les toréadors)
Georges Bizet
Andante molto, 3rd movement from the Symphonic Suite "Roma"
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Andante molto, 3rd movement from the Symphonic Suite "Roma"

Andante molto, 3rd movement from the Symphonic Suite "Roma"

Orchestra
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava
Georges Bizet
Carmen (Entr'actes 2 and 3)
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Carmen (Entr'actes 2 and 3)
Georges Bizet
Entr'act from Carmen
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Entr'act from Carmen
Georges Bizet
Symphony in C major (1st mvt)
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Symphony in C major (1st mvt)
Georges Bizet
Petite Suite 'Jeux d'enfants'
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Petite Suite 'Jeux d'enfants'
Georges Bizet
Adieux de l'hotesse arabe
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Adieux de l'hotesse arabe
Georges Bizet
Jeux d'enfants (Petite Suite)
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Jeux d'enfants (Petite Suite)
Georges Bizet
L'Arlésienne Suite No 2
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L'Arlésienne Suite No 2
Georges Bizet
L'Arlésienne Suite No.2: IV - Farandole
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L'Arlésienne Suite No.2: IV - Farandole
Georges Bizet
Carmen- Seguidilla
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Carmen- Seguidilla

Carmen- Seguidilla

Performer
Aigul Akhmetshina
Simon Lepper
Last played on
Georges Bizet
Carmen- Habanera
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Carmen- Habanera

Carmen- Habanera

Performer
Aigul Akhmetshina
Simon Lepper
Last played on
Georges Bizet
L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Carillon)
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L'Arlésienne Suite No 1 (Carillon)
Georges Bizet
Jeux d'enfants, Op.22 - petite suite d'orchestre
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Jeux d'enfants, Op.22 - petite suite d'orchestre

Jeux d'enfants, Op.22 - petite suite d'orchestre

Orchestra
Paris Conservatoire Orchestra
Conductor
Georges Bizet
Symphony in C
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Symphony in C
Georges Bizet
Act 2 Scene IX: La Fleur Que Tu M'Avais Jetée
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Act 2 Scene IX: La Fleur Que Tu M'Avais Jetée

Act 2 Scene IX: La Fleur Que Tu M'Avais Jetée

Singer
José Plácido Domingo
Orchestra
Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
Choir
Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Conductor
Georges Bizet
Car Chase and Fight Night (The Car Man)
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Car Chase and Fight Night (The Car Man)

Car Chase and Fight Night (The Car Man)

Music Arranger
Orchestra
Conductor
Brett Morris
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