Georges Bizet

Georges 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.

Bizet's earliest compositions, chiefly songs and keyboard pieces written as exercises, give early indications of his emergent power and his gifts as a melodist. Bizet may in fact at this time have thought that his future lay in the field of instrumental music, before an "inner voice" (and the realities of the French musical world) turned him towards the stage.

Besides his early Symphony in C, Bizet's purely orchestral output is sparse, and his piano works are seldom heard and generally too difficult for amateurs to attempt. An exception is the set of 12 pieces evoking the world of children's games, Jeux d'enfants, written for four hands. Here, Bizet avoided the virtuoso passages which tend to dominate his solo works. The earlier solo pieces bear the influence of Chopin; later works, such as the Variations Chromatiques and the Chasse Fantastique, owe more to Liszt. Most of Bizet's songs were written in the period 1866—68. Much of his larger-scale vocal music is lost, although the early Te Deum survives in full