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
Lorin Maazel Conducts Sibelius
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 7808332   Number of Discs: 5
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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: Symphonies 5-7, Orchestral Works / Collins, Jensen
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002126502   Number of Discs: 2
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Shakespeare's Tempest - Sullivan, Sibelius / Stern, Kansas City Symphony
Release Date: 07/08/2008   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 115   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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Work: Finlandia, Op. 26

Browse 1-25 of 183 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Phase 4 Stereo: Stereo Concert Series [41-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
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  • 3.
    Herbert Von Karajan: 3 Classic Albums - Sibelius, Grieg, Nielsen
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002120302 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius,  Carl Nielsen
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 4.
    Colin Davis Conducts Sibelius
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 431352 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Hillevi Martinpelto,  Karl Magnus Fredriksson
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
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  • 5.
    Karajan: Orchestra Spectaculars From Handel To Bartok
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633621 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Benjamin Britten,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $78.99
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  • 6.
    Karajan: Sibelius, 1976-1981
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633619 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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    CD: $28.49
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  • 7.
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1227072 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Ludovico Einaudi,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Nicola Benedetti,  Craig Ogden,  Ji Liu,  Maarten Jansen  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Andrew Litton,  Neeme Järvi,  Riccardo Chailly  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Musici
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  • 8.
    Sir Colin Davis - The Complete RCA Legacy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300607 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Barbara Fleckenstein,  Ben Heppner,  Heinrich Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $119.98
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  • 9.
    The Great Recordings / Malcolm Sargent [18-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634121 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Performer:  Richard Lewis,  John [baritone (50s)] Cameron,  James Milligan,  Duncan Robertson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Huddersfield Choral Society,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $64.49
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  • 10.
    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
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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Orchestral Works / Barbirolli, Halle
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 8470624 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Tone Poems / Sanderling, Sinaisky
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9439 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Maria Jogeva
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22322 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 15.
    Colin Davis: The Philips Years [15-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001850302 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Claudio Arrau,  Jessye Norman,  Jon Vickers  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $76.99
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  • 16.
    Carl Conducts... Classical Festival Favourites
    Label: Carl Davis Collect   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jean Sibelius,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
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  • 17.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 18.
    Icon - Constantin Silvestri [15-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 233472 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  George Enescu,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 19.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5, Etc / Schmidt, Mackerras, Royal Po
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1216 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Ole Schmidt,  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Monumental Karajan!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 232892 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Karlheinz Zöller
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $12.99
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  • 21.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies / Berglund, Bournemouth SO
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 736002 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Jouni Somero: Piano Recital
    Label: Fc Records   Catalog: 9705 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Franz Schubert,  Adolf Henselt
    Performer:  Jouni Somero
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  • 23.
    Eugene Ormandy Conducts 20th Century Classics
    Label: Sony (Nax615)   Catalog: 417202 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Van Cliburn,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia,  Rutgers University Chorus
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    CD: $32.99
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    Sibelius: Symphony No. 2; Finlandia; Valse Triste
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001702202 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Okko Kamu
    CD: $8.99
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