A 19th Century Prodigy: NOT A One Hit Wonder

Portrait of Georges Bizet (1838–1875): t...

When we think of musical child prodigies, we immediately think of Mozart. But did you know that Bizet entered the Paris Conservatory at the age of 9? His Symphony in C was written 1853 when he was only 17. Though most famous for his opera Carmen, Bizet’s only Symphony shows a flair for long beautiful melodies found in most of the movements. His slow second movement is interrupted in the middle with a fugue. His music is bubbly, always rhythmic, and melodic. Bizet demonstrates complete comprehension of sonata form. He suppressed the Symphony in deference to his teacher Gounod because he felt it sounded too much like his mentor’s work. It was subsequently lost and not found until 1933 and was finally performed in1935. Luckily, this little gem is part of today’s orchestral repertoire. Like Mozart, Bizet died at an early age; a few months short of his 37th Birthday