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Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet (UK: BEE-zay, US: bee-ZAY, 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.

Birth and Death Data: Born October 25th, 1838 (Rue Louise-Émilie-de-La-Tour-d'Auvergne), Died Bougival

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1895 - 1942

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 556 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Berliner 29 7-in. Feb. 1898-Mar. 1899 Carmen : Selection Banda Rossa Band composer  
Berliner 909 7-in. 12/1/1895 Toreador song Artists vary Baritone vocal solo composer  
Berliner 1465 7-in. 7/1/1897 Carmen : Selection Metropolitan Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Berliner 0296 7-in. 6/27/1899 Toreador song Ferruccio Giannini Tenor vocal solo composer  
Berliner 0493 7-in. 9/16/1899 Toreador song Bernard Bégué Male vocal solo composer  
Berliner 01014 7-in. Feb. 1900 Toreador song E. Francisco [i.e., Emilio de Gorgorza] Baritone vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]43 7-in. 5/25/1900 Gipsy song Marie Romaine Female vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]440 7-in. 10/19/1900 Chanson du toréador Sig. Carlos Francisco Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]489 7-in. 11/2/1900 Habanera Marie Romaine Female vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]627 7-in. 1/22/1901 Toreador song Sig. Carlos Francisco Baritone vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]627 10-in. 1/22/1901 Toreador song Sig. Carlos Francisco Baritone vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1352-A 10-in. 4/7/1902 Selections from Carmen Hungarian Gypsy Orchestra Instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1449 7-in. 6/24/1902 Selections from Carmen Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1449 10-in. 6/24/1902 Selections from Carmen Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]1449 12-in. 6/24/1902 Selections from Carmen Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1453 10-in. 6/25/1902 Toreador song Sig. Carlos Francisco ; Sousa's Band Baritone vocal solo, with band composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]3055 10-in. 1/22/1901 Toreador song Sig. Carlos Francisco Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]3406 10-in. 5/24/1901 Se tu m'ami mio ben Rosalia Chalia ; Sig. Carlos Francisco Vocal duet (soprano and baritone) composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]3445 10-in. 6/7/1901 Selections from Carmen Sousa's Band Band composer  
Victor B-18 10-in. 5/17/1903 Habanera Zélie De Lussan Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer  
Victor A-184 7-in. 7/3/1903 Carmen : Selections Royal Italian Marine Band Band composer  
Victor B-184 10-in. 7/3/1903 Carmen : Selections Royal Italian Marine Band Band composer  
Victor A-185 7-in. 7/3/1903 Habanera Royal Italian Marine Band Band composer  
Victor B-185 10-in. 7/3/1903 Habanera Royal Italian Marine Band Band composer  
Victor B-427 10-in. 9/17/1903 Micaëla's aria Lillian Blauvelt Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
(Results 1-25 of 556 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Bizet, Georges," accessed August 7, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102559.

Bizet, Georges. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 7, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102559.

"Bizet, Georges." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 7 August 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102559

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