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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
Sibelius: Finlandia, Karelia Suite, Etc / Sakari, Iceland So
Release Date: 09/28/1999   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554265   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Symphony No 4 & 5 / Sakari, Iceland Symphony
Release Date: 03/14/2000   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554377   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Piano Music Vol 3 / Håvard Gimse
Release Date: 08/21/2001   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554814   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Scènes Historiques 1 And 2, King Christian II / Inkinen, New Zealand SO
Release Date: 01/29/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8570068   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Nightride And Sunrise, Belshazzar's Feast Suite / Inkinen, New Zealand
Release Date: 12/16/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8570763   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Swan of Tuonela

Browse 76-94 of 94 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Liszt / Stokowski, Stokowski So
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 522 Release Date: 06/23/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Mitchell Miller
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
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  • 77.
    Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Liszt / Stokowski, Stokowski So
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 522 Release Date: 06/23/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Mitchell Miller
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
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  • 78.
    Sibelius: Symphonies No 5 & 6, Swan Of Tuonela / Karajan, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453982 Release Date: 09/08/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 79.
    Classical Zoo With Itzhak Perlman, Narrator
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80443 Release Date: 02/25/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jean Sibelius,  Ottorino Respighi,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Patrick McFarland,  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Yoel Levi,  Louis Lane
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
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  • 80.
    Sibelius: Symphony 3, Etc / Maazel, Pittsburgh So
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 61963 Release Date: 06/11/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Harold Smoliar
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 81.
    Adagio Karajan 2
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 449515 Release Date: 05/14/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jean Sibelius,  Ottorino Respighi  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 82.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Karelia Suite, Etc / Rosbaud, Berlin Po
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 447453 Release Date: 01/02/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 83.
    Sibelius - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 69252 Release Date: 11/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Carolyn Hove,  Ronald Leonard,  Lin Cho-Liang
    Conductor:  Louis Lane,  Lorin Maazel,  Zubin Mehta,  Sir Andrew Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet  ... 
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  • 84.
    Sibelius: The Complete Symphonies Vol 2 / Davis, Boston So
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 446160 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 85.
    Label: Curb   Catalog: 78006 Release Date: 01/24/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Paavo Berglund
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  • 86.
    Classics For Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 180 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Hans Christian Lumbye,  Witold Lutoslawski,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Per-Olof Gillblad,  Christine Mühlbach
    Conductor:  Jan Olav Wedin,  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Sinfonietta,  Vestjysk Chamber Ensemble,  Helsinki Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $21.49
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  • 87.
    Sibelius Encore! / Neeme Järvi, Gothenberg Symphony Orch
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 610 Release Date: 02/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Christer Thorvaldsson,  Göran Holmstrand,  Björn Bohlin
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $21.49
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  • 88.
    Toscanini Conducts Sibelius
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 755 Release Date: 11/01/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 89.
    Karajan Gold - Grieg, Sibelius: Valse Triste / Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439010 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Gerhard Stempnik
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 90.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Karelia Suite, Etc / Levi, Atlanta Sym
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80320 Release Date: 02/23/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Patrick McFarland
    Conductor:  Yoel Levi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 91.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, En Saga, Etc / Karajan, Berlin Po
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64331 Release Date: 02/16/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 92.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Valse Triste, Etc / Ormandy, Bernstein
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 48271 Release Date: 11/17/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Louis Rosenblatt
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Karelia Suite / Schermerhorn, Slovak Radio Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 550103 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Kenneth Schermerhorn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 94.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Valse Triste, Tapiola, Etc / Karajan
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 413755 Release Date: 09/03/1984   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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