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 51-75 of 145 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    The Royal Edition - Brahms, Sibelius: Concertos / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47540 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Zino Francescatti
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 53.
    Sibelius Edition Vol 8 - Orchestral Music
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1921/3 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Jaakko Kuusisto,  Neeme Järvi,  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 54.
    The Great Violin Concertos / Yehudi Menuhin
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64198 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Edouard Lalo  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Cocker,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Christian Ferras,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Alberto Lysy,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Efrem Kurtz  ... 
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  • 55.
    Yehudi Menuhin - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64131 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Lili Boulanger,  Ernest Bloch,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Ferguson Webster,  Derek Simpson,  Robert Masters  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  John Pritchard,  George Enescu,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
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  • 56.
    Icon - Jascha Heifetz - The Master Violinist
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 17312 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  César Franck,  Niccolò Paganini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Jascha Heifetz,  Arpád Sándor,  Benno Moiseiwitsch  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Sibelius Edition Vol 6 - Violin And Piano
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1915/17 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Folke Gräsbeck,  Jaakko Kuusisto,  Bengt Forsberg,  Nils-Erik Sparf  ... 
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  • 58.
    David Oistrakh - The Complete EMI Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 14712 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Karen Khachaturian,  Eugène Ysaÿe  ... 
    Performer:  Jacov Shapiro,  Joseph Stidel,  Joseph Gertovich,  Mikhail Terian  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicolai Malko,  Aram Khachaturian,  Maxim Shostakovich,  Lovro von Matacic  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 59.
    Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius: Violin Concertos / Chung
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 452325 Release Date: 09/02/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Archive - Sibelius, Khachaturian: Violin Concerti;  Sarasate / Taschner, Sandberg, Et Al
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 6421508 Release Date: 07/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Aram Khachaturian,  Pablo de Sarasate
    Performer:  Gerhard Taschner
    Conductor:  Herbert Sandberg,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt,  Fritz Lehmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra,  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Etc / Itzhak Perlman
    Label: Rca Papillion   Catalog: 6520 Release Date: 07/09/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Maurice Ravel,  Edouard Lalo
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Schoenberg, Sibelius: Violin Concertos / Hilary Hahn, Esa-pekka Salonen, Swedish Radio So
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001085802 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Hilary Hahn
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Brahms & Sibelius: Violin Concertos
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 743706 Release Date: 11/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Jean Sibelius
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  • 64.
    The Absolute Sibelius - Violin Concerto, Etc / Segerstam
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1115 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Romantic Violin Concertos - Beethoven, Bruch, Sibelius, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 00899 Release Date: 10/02/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Augustin Dumay,  Nikolaj Znaider,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons,  Emil Tchakarov,  Lawrence Foster,  André Cluytens
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 66.
    Sibelius & Lindberg: Violin Concertos / Oramo, Batiashvili, Finnish Radio So
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 712936 Release Date: 10/02/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Magnus Lindberg,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Lisa Batiashvili
    Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Sibelius: Symphonies No 1-7, Etc / Simon Rattle
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 753 Release Date: 10/02/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Nigel Kennedy
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Sibelius: En Saga, Tapiola, Finlandia, Violin Concerto / Damen, Beinum, Jensen
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4429487 Release Date: 09/08/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jan Damen
    Conductor:  Eduard Van Beinum,  Thomas Jensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 69.
    Gidon Kremer Plays Sibelius: Violin Concerto;  Schnittke
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60957 Release Date: 08/29/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Alfred Schnittke
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto; Saint-Saëns / Jenson, Ormandy, Philadelphia
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 4548 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Dylana Jenson
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Brahms, Sibelius: Violin Concerto / Katrin Scholz, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1610 Release Date: 06/05/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Katrin Scholz
    Conductor:  Michael Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Chamber Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Analekta - 20 Years Of Excellence / Lamon, Soly, Schmithusen, Istomin, Weil
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 299705 Release Date: 05/15/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Bohuslav Martinu,  Jean Sibelius,  André Mathieu  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Kuerti,  Angèle Dubeau,  Marc-André Hamelin,  Alain Marion  ... 
    Conductor:  Ivan Marinov,  Yoav Talmi,  Jeanne Lamon,  Angèle Dubeau  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Quebec Symphony Orchestra,  Tafelmusik  ... 
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  • 73.
    Legendary Treasures - Philippe Hirschhorn - Violin Concertos
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7906 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Philippe Hirshhorn,  Helmut Barth,  Lidiya Leonskaya
    Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner,  Uri Segal,  Jirí Stárek,  Rene Defossez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  South German Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 74.
    The Best Of Maxim Vengerov
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 63780 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Revital Chachamov,  Itamar Golan
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 75.
    Brahms, Sibelius, Ravel, Scarlatescu / Ginette Neveu, Et Al
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2064 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Jean Sibelius,  Maurice Ravel,  Ioan Scarlatescu
    Performer:  Ginette Neveu,  Jean Neveu
    Conductor:  Issay Dobrowen,  Walter Susskind
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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