G Bizet

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G Bizet Died From

Georges Bizet (October 25, 1838? June 3, 1875) was a French composer and pianist of the romantic era. He is best known for his opera Carmen. Bizet was born in Paris, France at 26 rue de la Tour d'Auvergne. Bizet was an amazingly gifted writer of melodies and these numbers are a high point in his art. The best modern version of the 'Pecheurs' is no doubt the 1989 Barbara Hendricks/Michel Plasson recording (also on EMI), which I also recommend. Georges Bizet was a French composer of the Romantic era. He is best known for his opera Carmen.


Georges Bizet (Composer, Arranger)

Born: October 25, 1838 - Paris, France
Died: June 3, 1875 - Bougival, France

Georges Bizet was a French composer and pianist of the romantic era. He is best known for his opera Carmen.


Georges Bizet was was registered with the legal name Alexandre-César-Léopold Bizet, but was baptized Georges Bizet and was always known by the latter name. He entered the Paris Conservatory of Music a fortnight before his tenth birthday.
Georges Bizet's first symphony, the Symphony in C Major, was written there when he was seventeen, evidently as a student assignment. It seems that Bizet completely forgot about it himself, and it was not discovered again until 1935, in the archives of the Conservatory library. Upon its first performance, it was immediately hailed as a junior masterwork and a welcome addition to the early Romantic period repertoire. A delightful work (and a prodigious one, from a seventeen-year-old boy), the symphony is noteworthy for bearing an amazing stylistic resemblance to the music of Franz Schubert, whose work was virtually unknown in Paris at that time (with the possible exception of a few of his songs). A second symphony, Roma was not completed.
In 1857 a setting of the one-act operetta Le docteur Miracle won him a share in a prize offered by Jacques Offenbach. Georges Bizet also won the Music Composition scholarship of the Prix de Rome, the conditions of which required him to study in Rome for three years. There, his talent developed as he wrote such works as the opera Don Procopio. Apart from this period in Rome, Bizet lived in the Paris area all his life. His mother died shortly after his return to Paris. He composed the opera Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers) for the Theatre-Lyrique in 1863, which was an initial failure. He followed it with La jolie fille de Perth (1867), and Jeux d'enfants (Children's games) for the piano.
The popular L'arlésienne were originally produced as incidental music for a play by Alphonse Daudet, first performed in 1872. Georges Bizet also composed a romantic opera, Djamileh, which is often seen as a precursor to Carmen, 1875. This latter opera is Bizet's best-known work and is based on a novella of the same title written in 1846 by Prosper Mérimée. Bizet composed the title role for a mezzo-soprano. Carmen was not initially well-received but praise for it eventually came from well-known contemporaries including Claude Debussy, Camille Saint-Saëns and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Their views proved to be prophetic, as Carmen has since become one of the most popular works in the entire operatic repertoire. However Bizet did not live to see its success, as he died from angina at the age of 36 a few months after its first few performances, on his third wedding anniversary. He was buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.
Georges Bizet's music has been used in the 20th century as the basis for several important ballets. The Soviet-era Carmen Suite (1967), set to music drawn from Carmen arranged by Rodion Shchedrin, gave the Bolshoi ballerina Maya Plisetskaya one of her signature roles; it was choreographed by Alberto Alonso. In the West the L'Arlesienne of Roland Petit is well-regarded, and the Symphony in C by George Balanchine is considered to be one of the great ballets of the 20th century. It was first presented as Le Palais de Crystal by the Paris Opera Ballet in 1947, and has been in the repertory there ever since. The ballet has no story; it simply fits the music: each movement of the symphony has its own ballerina, cavalier, and Corps de Ballet, all of whom dance together in the finale.

Works (Selection)

(The Woman of Arles, 1872)
Symphony in C (1855)

Stage Works:
La prêtresse, operetta (1854)
Le docteur Miracle, opéra bouffe (1857)
Don Procopio, opéra bouffe (1859)
Les pêcheurs de perles, opera (1863)
Ivan IV, grand opera (unfinished)
La jolie fille de Perth, opera (1867)
Noé, opera by Fromental Halévy finished by Bizet (1869)
L'Arlésienne, 'musique de scène' (1872)
Djamileh, one-act opera (1872)
Carmen, opera (1875)
Chromatic Variations, for piano
Jeux d'Enfants (Children's Games), for piano duet (also sometimes heard in orchestral arrangements)

Source: Wikipedia Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2007)

Gerges Bizet: Short Biography Piano Transcriptions: Works Recordings

Links to other Sites

Georges Bizet (Wikipedia)
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Essentials of Music: Georges Bizet
Georges Bizet Biography (Naxos)
Georges Bizet - an overview of the classical compose (mfiles)
Classical Net - Basic Repertoire List: Bizet
Georges Bizet (Cool Composers)
The Life and Times of Georges Bizet (The Composers' Specials)

Georges Bizet (Karadar)
Georges Bizet, Composer (DSO Kids)
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Learn - Georges Bizet (Arizona Opera)
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Bizet (Maurice Abravanel)


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Bizet, Georges

(zhôrzh bēzā`), 1838–75, French operatic composer. The son of professional musicians, he entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of nine and won the Prix de Rome in 1857. He was a gifted pianist and composed instrumental music in his teens. Bizet is celebrated for his opera Carmen (1875), based on a story by Mérimée. One of the most popular operas ever written, Carmen has music that is lush, melodic, and brilliantly orchestrated. It unfolds a story of love, hate, jealousy, and murder, set in the exotic world of Spanish Gypsies and bullfighters. Bizet's other works include the operas The Pearlfishers (1863), The Fair Maid of PerthBizet (1867), and Djamileh (1872); Symphony in C Major (1855); and incidental music to Daudet's L'Arlésienne, in the form of two orchestral suites.


See biographies by W. Dean (1950) and M. Curtiss (1958, repr. 1974).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bizet, Georges

(Alexandre César Léopold; baptized Georges). Born Oct. 25, 1838, in Paris; died June 3, 1875, in Bougival, near Paris. French composer.

Bizet was the son of a voice teacher. At the age of ten he was accepted at the Paris Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1857. He was a student of A. F. Marmontel, P. Zimmermann, and J. F. E. Halévy; he also studied under C. Gounod. At the conservatory Bizet won several prizes (for playing the piano and organ, as well as for composition). In 1857 he was awarded the Grand Prix de Rome (for the cantata Clovis et Clotilde), which gave him the opportunity to spend three years in Italy. Beginning in 1860 he lived in Paris. Because of difficult financial circumstances he gave private lessons, made transcriptions, and edited the works of other composers.

A born playwright, Bizet was constantly attracted to the musical theater; he wrote approximately 20 operas (many of which were left unfinished), including Don Procopio (1858–59; produced in 1906) and Ivan le Terrible (1865, unfinished; produced in 1946); three operettas (Le Docteur Miracle was awarded the prize at a competition organized by J. Offenbach in 1857); and music for a dramatic performance. Bizet was attracted by plots with elements of psychological drama and sharp conflicts. His early operas—Les Pécheurs de perles (1863), La Jolie Filie de Perth (1866, based on a novel by Walter Scott; produced in 1867 at the Théátre-Lyrique, Paris)—developed the traditions of French lyric opera. The composer’s striving for a folklike, true-life quality had already appeared in these works, which were distinguished by a melodic richness and beauty of orchestral colors characteristic of Bizet and by an exposition of the vocal roles suitable for singing. Realistic tendencies were more clearly manifested in the one-act opera Djamileh (based on A. Musset’s narrative poem Namouna, 1871; produced in 1872 at the Opé ra-Comique, Paris) and the music to A. Daudet’s drama L’Arlésienne (1872). The two suites from L’Arlésienne (the first put together by Bizet himself in 1872, and the second by Bizet’s friend, E. Guiraud, in 1885) made a brilliant contribution to the world’s symphonic literature.

Bizet’s most outstanding work was the opera Carmen (based on a short story by P. Mérimée, 1874), one of the high points of operatic realism during the 19th century. The music of this opera is outstanding for its great dramatic force, melodic expressiveness, brilliant harmony, plasticity of forms, and richness and clarity of orchestration. Written in the traditions of the French opéra-comique, Carmen contained spoken dialogues. Later, for a production in Vienna (in the autumn of 1875, after Bizet’s death), the composer E. Guiraud wrote recitatives that replaced the conversational episodes. At its first performance (1875, at the Opéra-Comique in Paris) Carmen was not well received by the bourgeois public; but soon after its success in Vienna, Carmen became “the most popular opera in the world,” as P. I. Tchaikovsky had predicted.


Bizet also composed orchestral works, including the symphonic cantata Vasco da Gama (1859–60), the symphony Roma (1871; the first version was a fantasy, Reminiscences of Rome, 1860–68), pieces for the piano, romances, and songs.

Qui Est George Bizet


Pis’ma. Translated from French and edited by G. T. Filenko. Moscow, 1963.


Bruk, M. Bize. Moscow, 1938.
Khokhlovkina, A. Zhorzh Bize. Moscow, 1959.
Curtiss, M. Bizet et son temps. Geneva-Paris, 1961.
Robert, F. Georges Bizet: L’Homme et son oeuvre.[Paris, 1965.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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