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
Grieg & Sibelius Favorites / Mackerras
Release Date: 07/17/2012   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 1191   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Complete Symphonies / Lintu [5 DVD]
Release Date: 11/13/2015   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 101796   Number of Discs: 5
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Sibelius: Symphonies 2 & 5 / Mackerras, Schmidt, Royal Philharmonic
Release Date: 04/10/2012   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 1189   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Symphony No 1, Karelia Suite, Finlandia / Gibson
Release Date: 07/13/2010   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 1089   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky & Sibelius: Works for Violin & Orchestra / Oistrakh
Release Date: 02/05/2016   Label: Praga  
Catalog: 250325   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 47

Browse 101-110 of 110 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Mischa Lefkowitz - Three Romantic Violin Concerti / Amos
    Label: Cambria   Catalog: 1064 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Diciedue,  Jean Sibelius,  Gabriel Fauré
    Performer:  Mischa Lefkowitz
    Conductor:  David Amos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Warsaw Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 102.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto;  Bruch / Midori, Mehta, Israel Po
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 58967 Release Date: 09/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Midori
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 103.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Etc / Marcovici, Järvi
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 372 Release Date: 08/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Silvia Marcovici
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $21.49
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  • 104.
    Beethoven, Sibelius: Violin Concertos / Oistrakh, Ehrling
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1032 Release Date: 06/28/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Sixten Ehrling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Festival Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto;  Svendsen, Et Al / Kang, Leaper
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550329 Release Date: 01/12/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johan Halvorsen,  Christian Sinding,  Johan Svendsen,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Dong-Suk Kang
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava
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  • 106.
    Sibelius, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / Shaham, Sinopoli
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437540 Release Date: 07/13/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Gil Shaham
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 107.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto - Original & Final Versions
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 500 Release Date: 11/23/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 108.
    The Art Of Ivry Gitlis
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 5505 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Béla Bartók,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch  ... 
    Performer:  Ivry Gitlis
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Hans Swarowsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 109.
    Beethoven, Sibelius: Violin Concerti /Francescatti, Oistrakh
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 47659 Release Date: 01/03/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Zino Francescatti
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Bruno Walter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $6.99
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  • 110.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Finlandia, Tapiola / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 419871 Release Date: 04/01/1988   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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