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: Symphony No 2, Karelia Suite, Finlandia / Mackerras
Release Date: 09/13/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28920   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Complete Symphonic Poems / Sinaisky, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 05/31/2011   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 9212   Number of Discs: 3
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Sibelius: Symphony No 5, En Saga, Swan of Tuonela, Valse Triste / Schmidt, RPO
Release Date: 05/10/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28910   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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Stravinsky: Violin Concerto;  Sibelius: Symphonies No 3 & 6 / Zehetmair, Northern Sinfonia
Release Date: 07/14/2009   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2150   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 47

Browse 1-25 of 145 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Ida Haendel: Prague Recordings, 1957-1965
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4162 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Henri Wieniawski,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Ida Haendel,  Alfred Holecek
    Conductor:  Václáv Smetácek,  Karel Ancerl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $42.99
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  • 2.
    Complete Vengerov: Recordings 1991-2007 [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 631514 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Itamar Golan,  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Kurt Masur,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 3.
    Viktoria Mullova: 3 Classic Albums
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002044702 Release Date: 05/06/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Viktoria Mullova
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Claudio Abbado,  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
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    On sale! $125.98
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  • 5.
    Itzhak Perlman - Concertos, Sonatas & More
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5438882 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Erich Leinsdorf,  André Previn,  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 6.
    Jascha Heifetz Plays Great Violin Concertos
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7761382 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Osian Ellis,  William Primrose,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Walter Hendl,  Sir Malcolm Sargent  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $22.99
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  • 7.
    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
    CD: $14.99
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    Sibelius, Ades: Violin Concertos / Hadelich, Lintu
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2276 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Thomas Adès
    Performer:  Augustin Hadelich
    Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    The Hubermann Week Festival, 30th Anniversary
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 29667 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Shlomo Mintz,  Isaac Stern,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Benyamini  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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  • 11.
    Erato - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 46441 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Pierre Pierlot,  Paul Hongne,  Jacques Chambon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Frigyes Sándor,  Kent Nagano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Soloists  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 12.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto; Barber: Violin Concerto; Ben-haim; Three Songs Without Words
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1459 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Samuel Barber,  Paul Ben-Haim
    Performer:  Zina Schiff
    Conductor:  Avlana Eisenberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  MAV Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Sibelius, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / Yoon, Borkowski, Gorzow Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 336 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Soyoung Yoon
    Conductor:  Piotr Borkowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gorzow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Serenade No 1, En Saga / Rachlin, Maazel
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802196 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Julian Rachlin
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 15.
    Sarah Chang: 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 844172 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Sarah Chang,  Lars Vogt,  Wolfram Christ,  Georg Faust  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Sir Colin Davis,  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 16.
    A Musical Journey: Norway, Finland
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110320 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Johan Svendsen,  Johan Halvorsen,  Christian Sinding
    Performer:  Dong-Suk Kang
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava
    DVD: $9.99
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  • 17.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
    On sale! $201.98
    CD: $154.99
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  • 18.
    The Very Best Of Jascha Heifetz
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 164862 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Jean Sibelius,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Artur Rubinstein,  Arok Sandor,  Emanuel Bay
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Thomas Beecham
    CD: $17.99
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  • 19.
    Beethoven, Sibelius: Violin Concertos / Kremer, Temirkanov
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002022 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov,  Woldemar Nelsson
    CD: $18.99
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  • 20.
    Bronislaw Gimpel - Violin Concertos & Sonatas
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 21418 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Karol Szymanowski,  Henri Wieniawski,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Bronislaw Gimpel
    CD: $29.99
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  • 21.
    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
    CD: $8.99
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  • 22.
    Sibelius & Khachaturian: Violin Concertos / Menuhin, Kun, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7091 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Aram Khachaturian
    Performer:  Hu Kun
    Conductor:  Yehudi Menuhin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 23.
    The Art Of Giuseppe Sinopoli - Concerto Recordings
    Label: Imports   Catalog: 2029964 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Gil Shaham,  Mischa Maisky,  Maurizio Pollini  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    Great Violin Concertos
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501058 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Louis Spohr  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  Simone Lamsma,  Ilya Kaler,  Misha Keylin  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Oliver Dohnányi,  Patrick Gallois,  Kenneth Jean  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Sinfonia Finlandia,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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