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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: 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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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: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 3 / Inkinen, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 10/26/2010   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572305   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: 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 101-125 of 157 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Gemini - Sibelius: Symphonies No 5-7, Etc / Paavo Berglund
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76951 Release Date: 02/21/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 102.
    The Legend Of Jean Sibelius - Finlandia, Etc / Vänskä
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1557 Release Date: 01/24/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Traditional
    Performer:  Raimo Laukka,  Leonidas Kavakos
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 103.
    A Concert Tour / Alexander Gibson
    Label: Chesky Records   Catalog: 62 Release Date: 11/23/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Festival Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Symphonic Spectaculars From ArkivMusic.com
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557986 Release Date: 11/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Jean Sibelius,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Conductor:  James Judd,  Petri Sakari,  Dmitry Yablonsky,  Adrian Leaper  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra,  Iceland Symphony Orchestra,  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 105.
    Trio - Sibelius: Tone Poems / Neeme Järvi, Göteborgs So
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000459702 Release Date: 08/09/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Soile Isokoski,  Björn Bohlin,  Urban Claesson
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $25.49
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  • 106.
    Gloria - Virtuoso Romantic Masterpieces / Gloria Saarinen
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 71145 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Gloria Saarinen
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  • 107.
    Sibelius: Tone Poems / Gibson, Scottish National Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 24119 Release Date: 01/25/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Phyllis Bryn-Julson
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Bear Essentials - Remembrance Classics
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 24117 Release Date: 11/09/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Eric Coates,  Gordon Langford,  William Paris Chambers,  Henry Walford Davies  ... 
    Performer:  Paula Bott,  Bryn Terfel,  Roderick Elms,  Libby Crabtree  ... 
    Conductor:  Alex Evans,  Roy Newsome,  Richard Hickox,  Matthias Bamert  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cranwell Royal Air Force College Band,  Besses o' th' Barn Band,  Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards  ... 
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  • 109.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Etc / Vänskä, Lahti So, Gräsbeck, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1295 Release Date: 10/21/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Folke Gräsbeck,  Jaakko Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 110.
    Sibelius: The Symphonies, Etc / Vladimir Ashkenazy, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000121902 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Elisabeth Söderström,  Boris Belkin
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Sibelius: Piano Works / Eero Heinonen
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4601142 Release Date: 06/23/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Eero Heinonen
    CD: $8.99
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  • 112.
    Classical Transcriptions / Desperadoes Steel Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 73502 Release Date: 03/04/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  George Frideric Handel,  Scott Joplin,  Traditional  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Valentine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Desperadoes Steel Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Finlandia, Etc / Sarbu, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75566 Release Date: 10/01/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Eugene Sarbu
    Conductor:  Ole Schmidt,  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Sibelius: En Saga, Finlandia, etc / Davis, Royal Stockholm PO
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 7406202 Release Date: 10/15/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Pomp And Circumstance - Organ Favorites / Helge Gramstrup
    Label: Point Classics   Catalog: 5139 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Jean Sibelius,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Johann Strauss Sr.  ... 
    Performer:  Helge Gramstrup
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  • 116.
    Thomas Jensen Conducts Scandinavian Classics
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 523/24 Release Date: 08/01/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Knudage Riisager,  Svend Erik Tarp,  Finn Hoffding  ... 
    Performer:  George Eskdale,  Carlo Andersen
    Conductor:  Thomas Jensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tivoli Concert Orchestra,  Royal Orchestra,  Danish State Radio Orchestra  ... 
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  • 117.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Etc / Barbirolli, Halle Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 69205 Release Date: 07/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Finnish Orchestral Favorites / Panula, Turku Po
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555773 Release Date: 05/15/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ilkka Kuusisto,  Uuno Klami,  Erkki Melartin,  Toivo Kuula  ... 
    Performer:  Reino Kotaviita,  Maarit Kirvessalo
    Conductor:  Jorma Panula,  Okko Kamu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turku Philharmonic Orchestra,  Finnish Chamber Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 119.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 1, Etc / Mariss Jansons, Oslo Po
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 54273 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 120.
    Showcase - Strauss, Et Al / Eiji Oue, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 907 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Leonard Bernstein,  Aaron Copland,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Jon Villars
    Conductor:  Eiji Oue
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 121.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Tapiola, Etc / Berglund, Philharmonia
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73735 Release Date: 06/27/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $7.99
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  • 122.
    The Sibelius Edition / Barbirolli, Hallé Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67299 Release Date: 05/09/2000   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
    CD: $53.99
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  • 123.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 2, Etc / Boughton, Royal Po, Et Al
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7716 Release Date: 03/21/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Paul Arden-Taylor
    Conductor:  William Boughton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English String Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 124.
    Sibelius / Vänskä, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1125 Release Date: 03/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Dong-Suk Kang,  Jukka Hirvikangas
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Around The World In 80 Minutes
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 7165 Release Date: 11/24/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Spicer,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Healey Willan,  John Philip Sousa  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Potts
    CD: $11.99
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