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: Symphonies Nos. 3, 6 & 7 / Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2006   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Pelleas et Melisande / Segerstam, Turku
Release Date: 08/14/2015   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573301   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Jedermann / Segerstam, Turku
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573340   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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Sibelius: Scaramouche Op. 71 / Segerstam, Turku Philharmonic
Release Date: 11/13/2015   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573511   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Finlandia, Op. 26

Browse 1-25 of 154 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
    CD: $109.99
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  • 2.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $131.98
    CD: $124.99
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $9.99
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    Sibelius: The Essential Orchestral Favourites With Photo Album
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 12652 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam,  Jean Sibelius
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Classics For The People Vol 1 / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94982 Release Date: 10/28/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Wynne Evans,  Donald Maxwell,  Deborah Norman
    Conductor:  Owain Arwel Hughes,  Philip Ellis,  Nick Davies
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Goldsmith's Choral Union Choir
    CD: $11.99
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  • 19.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    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  ... 
    CD: $168.99
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  • 21.
    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
    CD: $21.99
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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    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
    Recommendation
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  • 24.
    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
    On sale! $99.95
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  • 25.
    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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