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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: Symphony No. 2, Karelia Suite / Inkinen, New Zealand Symphony
Release Date: 04/26/2011   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572704   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 6 / Sondergard, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Release Date: 05/26/2017   Label: Linn Records  
Catalog: 502   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 7 / Sondergard, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Release Date: 03/10/2015   Label: Linn Records  
Catalog: 462   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius, Sinding: Violin Concertos, Etc / Kraggerud, Et Al
Release Date: 09/21/2004   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557266   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Swanwhite - Complete Incidental Music / Segerstam
Release Date: 10/09/2015   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573341   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Finlandia, Op. 26

Browse 1-25 of 157 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sibelius: Symphonies 1-7, Finlandia, Etc / Berglund, Helsinki Philharmonic
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 563139 Release Date: 08/18/2017   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Eeva-Liisa Saarinen,  Jorma Hynninen
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra,  Helsinki University Male Choir,  Estonian National Male Choir
    CD: $14.99
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  • 2.
    DG 111: The Conductors / Various
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797477 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gaston Litaize,  Alain Moglia,  Luben Yordanoff,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Leonard Bernstein,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $138.99
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  • 3.
    Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 - Sibelius: Finlandia / Edusei, Chineke! Orchestra
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 515 Release Date: 07/07/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Kevin John Edusei
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chineke! Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 4.
    Josta olen kotoisin / KaMu-Kuorot
    Label: Alba Records   Catalog: 55 Release Date: 06/02/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Traditional,  Carl Borenius,  Aulis Sallinen
    Conductor:  Pekka Nebelung
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  KaMu Girls Choir,  KaMu Youth Choir,  Melodicat  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 5.
    New York Philharmonic: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 533636 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Oscar Levant,  Robert Casadesus,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg,  Josef Stransky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 6.
    Finland / Creed, SWR Vokalensemble
    Label: Swr Music   Catalog: 19031 Release Date: 02/10/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Kaija Saariaho,  Rikka Talvitie,  Einojuhani Rautavaara  ... 
    Performer:  Bernhard Hartmann,  Inga Schäfer,  Wakako Nakaso,  Rudiger Linn  ... 
    Conductor:  Marcus Creed
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  SWR Stuttgart Vocal Ensemble
    CD: $18.99
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  • 7.
    Kortekangas: Migrations - Sibelius: Kullervo / Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 9048 Release Date: 02/03/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Olli Kortekangas
    Performer:  Tommi Hakala,  Lilli Paasikivi
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  YL Male Voice Choir,  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 8.
    BR-Klassik Greatest Moments
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900003 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Padmore,  Hanno Müller-Brachmann,  Camilla Tilling,  Mihoko Fujimura  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons,  Andris Nelsons,  Bernard Haitink,  Peter Dijkstra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 9.
    The Golden Era of Living Stereo: Remastered Collector's Edition
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 532174 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Pietro Nardini,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Stuart Sankey,  Ania Dorfmann,  Leonid Kogan,  Andrei Mitnik  ... 
    Conductor:  Howard Mitchell,  Arthur Fiedler,  Arturo Basile,  Robert Shaw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Festival Quartet,  Portland Symphonic Choir,  Choir Of The Abbey Of Mount Angel  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
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  • 10.
    The Originals, Vol. 2
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002534902 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Walcha,  Nathan Milstein,  Géza Anda,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Eugen Jochum,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $142.49
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  • 11.
    100 Best Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556480 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Barry Tuckwell,  Mikhail Rudy,  Maria-Joao Pires  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Kent Nagano,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alberto Lysy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    50 Best Classics
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556482 Release Date: 08/05/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Barry Tuckwell,  Mikhail Rudy,  Maria-Joao Pires  ... 
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Kent Nagano,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Alberto Lysy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Lysy,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 13.
    Purple Classics Presents: The Classical Music Collection
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578336 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Edvard Grieg,  Franz Liszt,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Hĺvard Gimse,  Jenö Jandó,  Lucy Van Dael
    Conductor:  Richard Edlinger,  Bjarte Engeset,  Alexander Rahbari,  Barry Wordsworth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 14.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 2, Finlandia, & Karelia Suite / Jansons
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900144 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 15.
    The Aeolian Organ at Duke University Chapel / Jacobson
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186577 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Herbert Howells,  André Fleury,  Edwin Lemare  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Jacobson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amalgam Brass Ensemble
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  • 16.
    Eugene Ormandy conducts Sibelius
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88875108582 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Dylana Jenson,  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra Chorus,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    CD: $23.99
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  • 17.
    The History of Classical Music in 24 Hours
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403602 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pérotin,  Guillaume de Machaut,  John Dunstable  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Charles [Tenor Vocals] Daniels,  Susan Gritton,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pater Godehard Joppich,  David Munrow,  Josef Ulsamer,  Bruno Turner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London,  Ulsamer-Collegium,  Pro Cantione Antiqua  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 18.
    Grieg: Peer Gynt (Highlights); Sibelius: Finlandia; Valse Triste / Salonen
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88697720992 Release Date: 10/30/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    CD: $6.99
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  • 19.
    Sibelius Edition [14-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002362202 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Johanna Rusanen-Kartano,  Esa Ruuttunen,  Soile Isokoski,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Okko Kamu,  Herbert von Karajan,  Jorma Panula  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Helsinki Radio Symphony,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 20.
    Sibelius: Histoical Recordings and Rarities 1928-48
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552772 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Helmi [Soprano Vocal] Liukkonen,  Jascha Heifetz,  Gerald Moore,  Emil Telmányi  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Kajanus,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Jean Sibelius,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
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  • 21.
    Sibelius: Great Performances
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002376002 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jan Damen,  Ruggiero Ricci,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Anthony Collins,  Thomas Jensen,  Eduard van Beinum,  Erik Tuxen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $65.99
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  • 22.
    Jean Sibelius: Piano Works, Vol. 1
    Label: Quartz Records   Catalog: 2111 Release Date: 09/04/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Joseph Tong
    CD: $15.99
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  • 23.
    Sibelius: Symphonies... / Bernstein, New York
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 502614 Release Date: 07/24/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Edvard Grieg,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Phyllis Curtis,  Zino Francescatti
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Thomas Schippers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 24.
    Folke Grasbeck Plays Sibelius on the Ainola Piano
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2132 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Folke Grasbeck
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  • 25.
    Stenhammar, Sibelius: Klavierwerke / Cassandra Wyss
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5229 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wilhelm Stenhammar,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Cassandra Wyss
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