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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Sibelius, Ades: Violin Concertos / Hadelich, Lintu
Release Date: 03/11/2014   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2276   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Symphony No 2, Etc / Boughton, Royal Po, Et Al
Release Date: 03/21/2000   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 7716   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Finlandia, Op. 26

Browse 26-50 of 182 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Arturo Toscanini - The Complete RCA Collection [84 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 791631 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 85
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Nan Merriman,  Jan Peerce,  Norman Scott  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Robert Shaw Chorale,  NBC Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 27.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Tone Poems / Colin Davis, Boston Symphony Orchestra [5-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001677102 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $31.99
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  • 28.
    Karajan In Italy Vol 3
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 712 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin
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  • 29.
    Sibelius Symphonies 1-7, Finlandia, Karelia Suite / Oramo
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 662795 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sakari Oramo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Journey Around The World
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55476 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mexican Anonymous,  Arthur Benjamin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Gabriela Montero,  Larry Adler,  Truls Otterbech Mork,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Eric Robinson,  André Cluytens,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
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  • 31.
    The Nordic Experience
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4671621 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Christian Sinding,  Jean Sibelius,  Erkki Melartin  ... 
    Performer:  Karita Mattila,  Izumi Tateno,  Harald Aadland,  Jon Wien Sonstebo  ... 
    Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen,  Sakari Oramo,  Shuntaro Sato,  Pertti Pekkanen  ... 
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  • 32.
    50 Greatest Pieces Of Classical Music / London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Pieter Schoeman,  Finghin Collins,  Craig Ogden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Eight Historic Pipe Organs Of The Copper Country / Christina Harmon
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 928 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jean Sibelius,  Samuel Long,  Clarence Eddy  ... 
    Performer:  Christina Harmon
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  • 34.
    Sibelius: Symphonies No 6 & 7, Finlandia / Inkinen, New Zealand Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572705 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Pietari Inkinen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 2, Karelia Suite, Finlandia / Mackerras
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28920 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 36.
    Classics At The Movies
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764553 Release Date: 08/16/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Giacomo Puccini,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Isador Goodman,  Yvonne Kenny,  Jane Sheldon,  Lauris Elms  ... 
    Conductor:  Patrick Thomas,  Wlodzimierz Kamirski,  William Motzing,  David Measham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cantillation,  Tasmanian Symphony Chamber Players
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  • 37.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonic Poems / Sinaisky, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9212 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Maria Jogeva
    Conductor:  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Musical Handyman
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 897376 Release Date: 08/17/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Orff,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Georges Bizet,  Aram Khachaturian  ... 
    Performer:  Karin Schaupp,  David Hobson,  Teddy Tahu Rhodes [Baritone Vocals],  Li Wei  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Walker,  Benjamin Northey,  Thomas Woods,  Leonard Dommett  ... 
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  • 39.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 886765 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Adele Anthony
    Conductor:  Arvo Volmer
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  • 40.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 1, Karelia Suite, Finlandia / Gibson
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1089 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 41.
    50 Best Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57517 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gregorio Allegri,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Wayne Marshall,  David Bell,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Henriette Puig-Roget  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Franz Welser-Möst,  André Cluytens  ... 
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  • 42.
    Album D'un Voyageur, Vol. 1: Europe
    Label: Piano 21   Catalog: 32 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Richard Strauss,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Cyprien Katsaris
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  • 43.
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 882973 Release Date: 04/20/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Richard Wagner,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Joaquin Turina  ... 
    Conductor:  André Anichanov,  Uwe Mund,  Kenneth Jean,  Max Bragado-Darman  ... 
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  • 44.
    Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 5; Finlandia
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 282 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Anthology 2: Nbc So (1950-53)
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 7047 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Hector Berlioz,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Engelbert Humperdinck  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
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  • 46.
    Sir Adrian Boult Conducts Sibelius
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 93 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Sir John Barbirolli - The Great EMI Recordings - 40th Anniversary
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57767 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Giacomo Puccini,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  André Navarra
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 48.
    The Sound Of Sibelius / Vanska, Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1645 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Aurora - Music Of The Northern Lights / Jarvi, Gothenburg
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471747 Release Date: 12/29/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Edvard Grieg,  Hans Christian Lumbye,  Carl Nielsen  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Berlitz Passport - The Music Of Scandinavia
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47281 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Alfvén,  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius,  Carl Nielsen  ... 
    Performer:  Stan Freeman
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Leonard Bernstein,  Eugene Ormandy,  Howard Hanson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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