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
Karajan - Sibelius, 1976-1981
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 633619   Number of Discs: 4
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The Perlman Edition - Sibelius, Sinding, Korngold
Release Date: 10/21/2003   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 62590   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Incidental Music & Tone Poems / Berglund, Et Al
Release Date: 10/23/2007   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 97689   Number of Discs: 2
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Sibelius: Violin Concerto / Pike, Davis, Bergen
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5134   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Violin Concerto / Salerno-Sonnenberg, Tilson Thomas, London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 10/12/1993   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 54855   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Finlandia, Op. 26

Browse 101-125 of 167 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Sibelius: Orchestral Favourites With Photo Album
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1037 Release Date: 10/21/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Jean Sibelius,  Tuomas Ollila
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra,  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 102.
    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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  • 103.
    International Salute / Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5132 Release Date: 08/27/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Jack Wellbaum
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  May Festival Chorus
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  • 104.
    Sibelius: Piano Works / Eero Heinonen
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4601142 Release Date: 06/23/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Eero Heinonen
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  • 105.
    Karajan - The Collection - Grieg, Sibelius / Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000005402 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 106.
    Winchester Cathedral: Organ Spectacular
    Label: Griffin   Catalog: 4028 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  César Franck,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Hill
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  • 107.
    Sibelius: Symphonies, Violin Concerto, Etc / Maazel, Rachlin
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 87882 Release Date: 11/19/2002   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Julian Rachlin
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Karajan Festival
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429436 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 109.
    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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  • 110.
    Northern Highlights - Ultimate Finnish Orchestral Favorites
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 991 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sven Einar Englund,  Jean Sibelius,  Uuno Klami,  Einojuhani Rautavaara  ... 
    Conductor:  Eri Klas,  Tuomas Ollila,  Sakari Oramo,  Juha Kangas  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra,  Finnish National Opera Orchestra,  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 111.
    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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  • 112.
    Eloquence - Sibelius: Symphony No 2, Etc / Karajan, Berlin
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469647 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Gerhard Stempnik
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Okko Kamu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 113.
    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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  • 114.
    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
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  • 115.
    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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  • 116.
    Sibelius Panorama / Karajan, Berlin Philarmonic, Kamu, Helsinki Radio Symphony
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469202 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Okko Kamu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Helsinki Radio Symphony
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  • 117.
    The Sorcerer's Apprentice And Other Orchestral Favourites
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 554066 Release Date: 10/06/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Bedrich Smetana,  Jean Sibelius,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd,  Antoni Wit,  Kenneth Schermerhorn,  Oliver Dohnányi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 118.
    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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  • 119.
    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
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  • 120.
    Sibelius: Cantata For The Conferment Ceremony Of 1894, Etc
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 936 Release Date: 03/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jaakko Kortekangas,  Soile Isokoski
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra,  Finnish Philharmonic Choir
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  • 121.
    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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  • 122.
    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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  • 123.
    Chicago Concert- Pierne, Dupré, Widor, Etc/ Kalevi Kiviniemi
    Label: Motette   Catalog: 1236 Release Date: 01/24/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Aimo Känkänen,  Joonas Kokkonen,  Kalevi Kiviniemi  ... 
    Performer:  Kalevi Kiviniemi
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  • 124.
    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
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  • 125.
    Immortal Toscanini Vol 8 - Orchestral Showpieces
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 59484 Release Date: 11/09/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Jean Sibelius,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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