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: 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: Scènes Historiques, Etc / Gibson, Scottish Natl
Release Date: 08/11/1993   Label: Chandos Collect  
Catalog: 6591   Number of Discs: 1
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Franck: Psyché;  Sibelius: Symphony No 2 / Ahronovitch, Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
Release Date: 10/28/2008   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 8040   Number of Discs: 1
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Karajan: Sibelius, 1976-1981
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 633619   Number of Discs: 4
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Sibelius: Lemminkäinen Legends, Etc / Gibson, Scottish Natl
Release Date: 12/08/1993   Label: Chandos Collect  
Catalog: 6586   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin in D minor, Op. 47

Browse 26-50 of 146 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0232 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Max Bruch,  Franz Schubert,  Niccolò Paganini
    Performer:  Gerhard Taschner,  Hans Altmann
    Conductor:  Herbert Sandberg,  Hermann Abendroth
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  • 27.
    Brahms, Sibelius, Arvo Part / Tasmin Little
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 0858622 Release Date: 11/29/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Jean Sibelius,  Arvo Pärt
    Performer:  Tasmin Little,  Richard Studt,  Martin Roscoe
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Richard Studt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bournemouth Sinfonietta
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  • 28.
    Sibelius, Saint Saens, Chausson / Michael Antonello, Philip Greenberg, National Symphony Orchestra Of Ukraine
    Label: Mja Productions   Catalog: 40599 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ernest Chausson
    Performer:  Michael Antonello
    Conductor:  Philip Greenberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Anne-Sophie Mutter - The Complete Musician [40-CD Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B001587372 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Max Bruch  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Mark Zeltser,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Antonio Meneses  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Paul Sacher,  Witold Lutoslawski,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 30.
    Icon: Vernon Handley - Champion Of British Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 98202 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir Arthur Bliss,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Kennedy,  Tasmin Little
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $34.99
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  • 31.
    Ross Edwards: Maninyas; Sibelius: Violin Concerto
    Label: Canary Classics   Catalog: 9 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ross Edwards,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Adele Anthony
    Conductor:  Arvo Volmer
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  • 32.
    Sibelius, Nielsen: Violin Concertos / Vengerov, Barenboim, Chicago Symphony
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 73005 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Carl Nielsen
    Performer:  Maxim Vengerov
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Tchaikovsky, Sibelius: Violin Concertos / Oistrakh, Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7858162 Release Date: 09/20/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001109 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Ludwig van Beethoven
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  • 35.
    Sibelius, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerti / Mullova, Ozawa, BSO
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 416821 Release Date: 07/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Viktoria Mullova
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Violin Concertos - Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94096 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Antonín Dvorák,  Niccolò Paganini,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Alexandre Dubach,  Ilya Grubert,  Borika Van Den Booren  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Michel Sasson,  Lawrence Foster,  Igor Golovschin  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 37.
    The Greatest Romantic Violin Concertos / Vaclav Hudecek
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4055 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Václav Hudecek
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Symphony Orchestra,  Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Scandinavian Classics Vol 3 / Erik Tuxen, Thomas Jensen, Mil Telmanyi
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 697/98 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Harald Saeverud,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Emil Telmányi
    Conductor:  Erik Tuxen,  Thomas Jensen
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  • 39.
    111 - The Collector's Edition 2 [56-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4779142 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Stuart Harling,  Robert Lloyd,  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Nelson,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerzy Semkow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus  ... 
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  • 40.
    Thomas Zehetmair: The Teldec Recordings
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 81031 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Michael Haydn,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Zehetmair,  Tabea Zimmermann,  Pierre-Laurent Aimard,  Clemens Hagen  ... 
    Conductor:  Thomas Zehetmair,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Christoph von Dohnányi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra,  German Chamber Philharmonic  ... 
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  • 41.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto, The Bard, The Wood Nymph / Zimmermann, Storgards
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1147-2 Release Date: 08/31/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann
    Conductor:  John Storgårds
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 42.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto; Schumann: Symphony No 2 / Sokolov, Ashkenazy
    Label: Juxtapositions   Catalog: 3078748 Release Date: 08/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Valeriy Sokolov
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 43.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 886765 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Adele Anthony
    Conductor:  Arvo Volmer
    CD: $60.99
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  • 44.
    Label: Classic Records   Catalog: 2030 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Tossy Spivakovsky
    Conductor:  Tauno Hannikainen
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  • 45.
    The Art Of Ivry Gitlis - Violin Concertos
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 958196 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Alban Berg,  Max Bruch,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Performer:  Ivry Gitlis
    CD not available
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  • 46.
    Beethoven: Violin Concerto In D Major; Sibelius: Violin Concerto In D Minor
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4024 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Ida Haendel
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
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  • 47.
    Le Violon En Fete!
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 692 Release Date: 05/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Bronislaw Gimpel
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Eugen Jochum
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  • 48.
    Virtuoso Violin Concertos /  Ruggiero Ricci
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4802083 Release Date: 03/16/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci
    Conductor:  Oivin Fjeldstad,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Piero Gamba,  Anatole Fistoulari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    In Memoriam Ginette Neveu
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 684 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Spoken Word,  Johannes Brahms,  Ernest Chausson,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Ginette Neveu
    Conductor:  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Charles Munch,  Walter Susskind,  Hans Rosbaud
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  • 50.
    Sibelius, Prokofiev: Violin Concertos / Vilde Frang
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 84413 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Vilde Frang
    Conductor:  Thomas Sondergård
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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