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: The Essential Orchestral Favourites With Photo Album
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Ondine  
Catalog: 12652   Number of Discs: 2
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Sibelius: Symphonies 1, 2, 5 & 7 / Bernstein, Vienna Philharmonic
Release Date: 05/25/2010   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 702208   Number of Discs: 2
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Smetana: String Quartets No 1 & 2; Sibelius: Voces Intimae  / Dante Quartet
Release Date: 05/10/2011   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 67845   Number of Discs: 1
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Stravinsky: Rite of Spring; Sibelius: Symphony No 5 / Bernstein
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Ica Classics  
Catalog: 5082   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Songs / Katarina Karneus, Julius Drake
Release Date: 12/10/2013   Label: Helios  
Catalog: 55471   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Finlandia, Op. 26

Browse 126-150 of 171 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    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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  • 127.
    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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  • 128.
    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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  • 129.
    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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  • 130.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Karelia Suite, Etc / Sakari, Iceland So
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554265 Release Date: 09/28/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Petri Sakari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iceland Symphony Orchestra
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  • 131.
    Sibelius Festival / Mattila, Segerstam, Saraste, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 930 Release Date: 09/21/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jorma Hynninen,  Ilmo Ranta,  Karita Mattila,  Raija Kerppo  ... 
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra,  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 132.
    The Best Of Sibelius
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556677 Release Date: 06/22/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Dong-Suk Kang
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper,  Kenneth Schermerhorn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Bratislava Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 133.
    Sibelius: Karelia Suite, Tapiola, Etc / Davis, London So
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68770 Release Date: 04/13/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 134.
    Bernstein Century - Grieg: Peer Gynt Suites;  Sibelius
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 63156 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Edvard Grieg
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 135.
    Discover The Classics Volume 2
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8554246-47 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Malcolm Arnold,  Gioachino Rossini,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Benjamin Frith,  Maria Kliegel
    Conductor:  Prionnsias O'Duinn,  Andrew Penny,  Michael Halász,  Adrian Leaper  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RTE Sinfonietta,  Queensland Symphony Orchestra,  Zagreb Festival Orchestra  ... 
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  • 136.
    World Of Classics - Scandinavian Classical Music
    Label: Columbia River Entertainment   Catalog: 1169 Release Date: 03/17/1998   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Andreas Düben,  Jean Sibelius,  Christian Sinding  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Jeschko,  Marian Lapansky,  Helmuth Rilling,  Isabel Mourao  ... 
    Conductor:  Bystrik Rezucha,  Libor Pesek,  Fritz Mareczek,  Albert Hartmann  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra,  South German Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 137.
    Sibelius: Symphonies No 1, 2 & 4, Etc / Ashkenazy
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 455402 Release Date: 01/13/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 138.
    Ports Of Call / Eiji Oue, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 80 Release Date: 09/23/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Bedrich Smetana,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Conductor:  Eiji Oue
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 139.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Etc / Ashkenazy, Stein, Et Al
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 452576 Release Date: 08/26/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Elisabeth Söderström
    Conductor:  Horst Stein,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 140.
    Finnish Orchestral Favorites
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 863 Release Date: 05/30/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Uuno Klami,  Einojuhani Rautavaara,  Väinö Raitio,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Conductor:  Sakari Oramo,  Juha Kangas,  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Eri Klas  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra,  Finnish National Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 141.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 1, En Saga, Finlandia / Sanderling
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 9267 Release Date: 09/03/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 142.
    Classic Sibelius / Tuomas Ollila, Tampere Philharmonic
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 871 Release Date: 08/20/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Tuomas Ollila
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 143.
    Sibelius: Piano Music / Risto Lauriala
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553661 Release Date: 06/18/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Risto Lauriala
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  • 144.
    Sibelius: Symphony 3, Etc / Maazel, Pittsburgh So
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 61963 Release Date: 06/11/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Harold Smoliar
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 145.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Luonnotar, Etc / Järvi, Gothenburg
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 447760 Release Date: 03/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Soile Isokoski
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Opera Orchestra
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  • 146.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Karelia Suite, Etc / Rosbaud, Berlin Po
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 447453 Release Date: 01/02/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 147.
    Sibelius - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 69252 Release Date: 11/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Carolyn Hove,  Ronald Leonard,  Lin Cho-Liang
    Conductor:  Louis Lane,  Lorin Maazel,  Zubin Mehta,  Sir Andrew Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet  ... 
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  • 148.
    Smetana: Moldau;  Liszt: Les Preludes;  Sibelius / Karajan
    Label: Dg Masters   Catalog: 445550 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Franz Liszt,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 149.
    Sibelius: Works For Piano / Ralf Gothoni
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 847 Release Date: 06/20/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Ralf Gothóni
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  • 150.
    Sibelius: The Complete Symphonies Vol 2 / Davis, Boston So
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 446160 Release Date: 06/13/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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