Jean Sibelius

Biography

Born: Dec 8, 1865; Finland   Died: Sep 20, 1957; Finland   Period: 20th Century
Finland's Jean Sibelius is perhaps the most important composer associated with nationalism in music and one of the most influential in the development of the symphony and symphonic poem. Sibelius was born in southern Finland, the second of three children. His physician father left the family bankrupt, owing to his financial extravagance, a trait that, along with heavy drinking, he would pass on to Jean. Jean showed talent on the violin and at age Read more nine composed his first work for it, Rain Drops. In 1885 Sibelius entered the University of Helsinki to study law, but after only a year found himself drawn back to music. He took up composition studies with Martin Wegelius and violin with Mitrofan Wasiliev, then Hermann Csillag. During this time he also became a close friend of Busoni. Though Sibelius auditioned for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, he would come to realize he was not suited to a career as a violinist.
In 1889 Sibelius traveled to Berlin to study counterpoint with Albert Becker, where he also was exposed to new music, particularly that of Richard Strauss. In Vienna he studied with Karl Goldmark and then Robert Fuchs, the latter said to be his most effective teacher. Now Sibelius began pondering the composition of the Kullervo Symphony, based on the Kalevala legends. Sibelius returned to Finland, taught music, and in June 1892, married Aino Järnefelt, daughter of General Alexander Järnefelt, head of one of the most influential families in Finland. The premiere of Kullervo in April 1893 created a veritable sensation, Sibelius thereafter being looked upon as the foremost Finnish composer. The Lemminkäinen suite, begun in 1895 and premiered on April 13, 1896, has come to be regarded as the most important music by Sibelius up to that time.
In 1897 the Finnish Senate voted to pay Sibelius a short-term pension, which some years later became a lifetime conferral. The honor was in lieu of his loss of an important professorship in composition at the music school, the position going to Robert Kajanus. The year 1899 saw the premiere of Sibelius' First Symphony, which was a tremendous success, to be sure, but not quite of the magnitude of that of Finlandia (1899; rev. 1900).
In the next decade Sibelius would become an international figure in the concert world. Kajanus introduced several of the composer's works abroad; Sibelius himself was invited to Heidelberg and Berlin to conduct his music. In March 1901, the Second Symphony was received as a statement of independence for Finland, although Sibelius always discouraged attaching programmatic ideas to his music. His only concerto, for violin, came in 1903. The next year Sibelius built a villa outside of Helsinki, named "Ainola" after his wife, where he would live for his remaining 53 years. After a 1908 operation to remove a throat tumor, Sibelius was implored to abstain from alcohol and tobacco, a sanction he followed until 1915. It is generally believed that the darkening of mood in his music during these years owes something to the health crisis.
Sibelius made frequent trips to England, having visited first in 1905 at the urging of Granville Bantock. In 1914 he traveled to Norfolk, CT, where he conducted his newest work The Oceanides. Sibelius spent the war years in Finland working on his Fifth Symphony. Sibelius traveled to England for the last time in 1921. Three years later he completed his Seventh Symphony, and his last work was the incidental music for The Tempest (1925). For his last 30 years Sibelius lived a mostly quiet life, working only on revisions and being generally regarded as the greatest living composer of symphonies. In 1955 his 90th birthday was widely celebrated throughout the world with many performances of his music. Sibelius died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1957. Read less
Lorin Maazel Conducts Sibelius
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 7808332   Number of Discs: 5
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Sibelius: Violin Concerto / Jennifer Pike, Andrew Davis, Bergen Philharmonic
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5134   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Symphonies 5-7, Orchestral Works / Collins, Jensen
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002126502   Number of Discs: 2
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Shakespeare's Tempest - Sullivan, Sibelius / Stern, Kansas City Symphony
Release Date: 07/08/2008   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 115   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius, Ades: Violin Concertos / Hadelich, Lintu
Release Date: 03/11/2014   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2276   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Swan of Tuonela

Browse 1-25 of 96 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Herbert Von Karajan: 3 Classic Albums - Sibelius, Grieg, Nielsen
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002120302 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius,  Carl Nielsen
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Karajan: Sibelius, 1976-1981
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633619 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Animals In Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 578281 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  George Frideric Handel,  Edvard Grieg,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  John Artore,  Balazs Szkolay,  Giorgio Koukl,  Takako Nishizaki  ... 
    Conductor:  Kees Bakels,  Peter Breiner,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  David Lloyd-Jones  ... 
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  • 4.
    The Great Recordings / Malcolm Sargent [18-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634121 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Lewis,  John [baritone (50s)] Cameron,  James Milligan,  Duncan Robertson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Huddersfield Choral Society,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 5.
    Lorin Maazel Conducts Sibelius
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7808332 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Julian Rachlin
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto / Jennifer Pike, Andrew Davis, Bergen Philharmonic
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5134 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jennifer Pike
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Orchestral Works / Barbirolli, Halle
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 8470624 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Lazy Day Classics
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 1271 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Schubert,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Christine Pendrill,  James Campbell,  Stephanie Chase
    Conductor:  Geoffrey Simon,  Roy Goodman
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  • 9.
    Karajan Adagio: Music To Free Your Mind
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001805202 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Johann Pachelbel,  Gustav Mahler,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Meyer,  Frank Maus,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 10.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5, Etc / Schmidt, Mackerras, Royal Po
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1216 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Ole Schmidt,  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Monumental Karajan!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 232892 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Karlheinz Zöller
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 12.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies / Berglund, Bournemouth SO
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 736002 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto; Finlandia; The Swan Of Tuonela; Karelia Overture
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 59356 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
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  • 14.
    Sibelius: Symphonies 5 & 6, Swan Of Tuonela / Berglund, London Philharmonic
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 65 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Leopold Stokowski - The Columbia Stereo Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 197115 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Charles Ives  ... 
    Performer:  Shirley Verrett,  Fernando Valenti,  Anshel Brusilow,  William Kincaid  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Gregg Smith
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  American Symphony Orchestra,  Schola Cantorum New York members  ... 
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  • 16.
    Sibelius: Symphony No. 2; Finlandia; Valse Triste
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001702202 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Okko Kamu
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  • 17.
    Grieg & Sibelius Favorites / Mackerras
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1191 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Geoffrey Browne
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 19.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Tone Poems / Colin Davis, Boston Symphony Orchestra [5-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001677102 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $31.99
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  • 20.
    Masters Of Classical Music, Vol. 1
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 245 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius,  George Frideric Handel,  Franz v. Suppé
    Conductor:  Vassil Kazandjiev
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  • 21.
    The 50 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 108 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Edvard Grieg,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Ponti,  Finghin Collins,  Roland Pöntinen,  Emmy Berhey  ... 
    Conductor:  Volke Schmidt-Gertenbach,  Heribert Beissel,  David Parry,  James DePreist  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moyzes String Quartet,  Camerata Antonio Lucio,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
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  • 22.
    Gala Concert 1945
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2368 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Jean Sibelius,  Richard Wagner,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 23.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5, En Saga, Swan of Tuonela, Valse Triste / Schmidt, RPO
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28910 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Ole Schmidt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Voices In The Dark: Nocturnal Chants From Schubert To Orff
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300105 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gustav Mahler,  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
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  • 25.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 1, Karelia Suite, Finlandia / Gibson
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1089 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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