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
Suggestions - Grieg, Nielsen, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky / GliArchi Ensemble
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Stradivarius  
Catalog: 33977   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Symphony No 2, Finlandia, & Karelia Suite / Jansons
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Br Klassik  
Catalog: 900144   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Kullervo / Davis, Mattei, Groop, London So, Et Al
Release Date: 02/14/2006   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 574   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Symphonies 5 & 6, Swan Of Tuonela / Berglund, London Philharmonic
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 65   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Histoical Recordings and Rarities 1928-48
Release Date: 10/02/2015   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 552772   Number of Discs: 7
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Work: Finlandia, Op. 26

Browse 26-50 of 144 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Tone Poems / Sanderling, Sinaisky
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9439 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Maria Jogeva
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
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    CD: $34.99
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  • 27.
    Colin Davis: The Philips Years [15-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001850302 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Claudio Arrau,  Jessye Norman,  Jon Vickers  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $65.99
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  • 28.
    Carl Conducts... Classical Festival Favourites
    Label: Carl Davis Collect   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jean Sibelius,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
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  • 29.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
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  • 30.
    Icon - Constantin Silvestri [15-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 233472 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  George Enescu,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 31.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5, Etc / Schmidt, Mackerras, Royal Po
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1216 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Ole Schmidt,  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Monumental Karajan!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 232892 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Karlheinz Zöller
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $19.99
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  • 33.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies / Berglund, Bournemouth SO
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 736002 Release Date: 01/22/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Jouni Somero: Piano Recital
    Label: Fc Records   Catalog: 9705 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Franz Schubert,  Adolf Henselt
    Performer:  Jouni Somero
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  • 35.
    Sibelius: Symphony No. 2; Finlandia; Valse Triste
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001702202 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Okko Kamu
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  • 36.
    Grieg & Sibelius Favorites / Mackerras
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1191 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Geoffrey Browne
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 37.
    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: $35.49
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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 44.
    Finlandia - Sibelius, Grieg, Alfven: Orchestral Works / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 68975 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius,  Hugo Alfvén
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 45.
    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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  • 46.
    50 Best Classics
    Label: Warner 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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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    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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  • 50.
    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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