The Romantic Era

nineteenth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Georges Bizet



Bizet was born in Paris in 1838, the son of a pianist and a singing teacher. He was quick to master the rudiments of music and his father had great hopes that he would become a composer. At the age of ten he entered the Paris Conservatoire and studied with Charles Gounod and Jacques Halevy, whose daughter Bizet was later to marry. An exceptional student, Bizet won many prizes, initially for his piano playing and later for composition. Chief among these was the prestigious Prix dc Rome, won when he was 18 and resulting in a fave-уеаг pension. One of his notable early works is the Symphony in С from 1855. The score was lost for many years and the piece was not performed until 1935.

Bizet's first mature opera was the love story Les pecheurs dc perles (The Pearl Fishers), performed at the Theatre Lyrique in Paris in 1863. It drew the attention of other composers, Berlioz being a particular admirer; but it failed to gain widespread acceptance by audiences and ran for only 18 performances. Other, equally unsuccessful operas — including the unjustly neglected La jolie fille de Perth (The fair maid of Perth) — appeared during the next few years, leaving Bizet's future as a composer uncertain.

At the same time that his musical activities failed to live up to the promise of earlier years, Bizet's personal life also took an unhappy turn. In 1867 his engagement to Genevieve Halevy was broken off, and although they did in fact marry in 1869, she showed signs of increasing mental instability and had a breakdown a year before the birth of their only child in 1872.

In 1872 Bizet wrote L'Arlesieune, the incidental music for a play by Daudet. Scored for 26 instruments, including a saxophone, the music was greeted coolly, although when rescored for full orchestra it gained the attention and audience appreciation it deserved.

Without a doubt Bizet's greatest achievement, however, was the opera Carmen, which he wrote towards the end of his short life. Despite being termed an opera comiquc, due to its inclusion of spoken dialogue, it hardly amounts to a humorous evening's entertainment. Based on Prosper Merimee's story of the life, love affairs, and tragic death of the gypsy Carmen, it did not achieve immediate success. Critics claimed that it was too sensational, the story "obscene", and that it had no tunes; while many of the audience were outraged at the sight of women smoking on stage.

Today Carmen is one of the best-loved operas in the repertoire, and songs such as "Habanera" and "The Toreador's Song" remain consistently popular. The opera reached a wider audience through Carmen Jones, in which the story was updated by Oscar Hammerstein to 1940s America. Unaware of how hugely successful his creation would become, Bizet died near Paris in 1875 a bitterly disappointed man.


Geores Bizet



Georges Bizet (1791-1864)



Carmen Suite No.1
Les Toreadors
Les Dragon

Carmen Suite No.2
Sextet and Choir
Children's Chorus
Gypsy Song

Chour des Marais

Women's Glee Club
, featuring Olga Perez, mezzo-soprano - George Bizet
Pres des remparts de Seville (Seguidilla)
Avec la garde montante
Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre (Toreador Song)
L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera)
Les voici! Voici la quadrille (March of the Toreadors)

Acto IV

Drew Slatton
La fleur que tu mavais jetee

Bryan Verhoye (Horowitz piano transcription)
Variations on a theme from "Carmen"

"The Pearl Fishers"
Chour des Marais
Les pecheurs de perles
Choeur du 1er acte
Choeur du 4e acte



Eugene Delacroix





















J.S. Strauss







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