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: Suites - Pelleas et Melisande, King Christian II, Swanwhite / Sakari
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10828   Number of Discs: 1
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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: Scènes Historiques, Etc / Gibson, Scottish Natl
Release Date: 08/11/1993   Label: Chandos Collect  
Catalog: 6591   Number of Discs: 1
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Franck: Psyché;  Sibelius: Symphony No 2 / Ahronovitch, Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
Release Date: 10/28/2008   Label: Profil  
Catalog: 8040   Number of Discs: 1
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Karajan: Sibelius, 1976-1981
Release Date: 05/27/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 633619   Number of Discs: 4
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Work: Finlandia, Op. 26

Browse 76-100 of 182 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Sibelius: Piano Transcriptions / Henri Sigfridsson
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98261 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Henri Sigfridsson
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  • 77.
    Sibelius: The Tempest, Festivo, Etc / Beecham
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63397 Release Date: 09/17/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 78.
    Sibelius Edition Vol 1 - Tone Poems
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1900 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Leena Saarenpää,  Jukka Hirvikangas
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi,  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 79.
    Sibelius: En Saga, Tapiola, Finlandia, Violin Concerto / Damen, Beinum, Jensen
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4429487 Release Date: 09/08/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jan Damen
    Conductor:  Eduard Van Beinum,  Thomas Jensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 80.
    Sibelius: Complete Piano Music Edition / Servadei
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 5001 Release Date: 08/07/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Annette Servadei
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  • 81.
    Sibelius: Symphony No. 2, Etc. / Ashkenazy, Boston Symphony
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436566 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 82.
    Sibelius: Symphony No. 2; Symphony No. 7; Finlandia
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4766167 Release Date: 06/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
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  • 83.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Etc / Suitner, Berglund, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8571 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Berwald,  Jean Sibelius,  Christian Sinding,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Adele Stolte,  Egon Morbitzer
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Paavo Berglund,  Robert Hanell,  Václav Neumann  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Octet,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 84.
    Label: Octave, Les Productions   Catalog: 23326 Release Date: 03/22/2007   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  François Couperin,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Marcelle Meyer,  Andrés Segovia,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Baumgartner,  Eduard Van Beinum,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Wilhelm Furtwängler  ... 
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  • 85.
    The Masters Classics - The Greatest Composers Interpreted
    Label: Global Journey   Catalog: 3856 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos,  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 86.
    Sibelius: Symphony No. 4; En Saga; Finlandia; Lemminkainen's Return
    Label: Naxos Historical   Catalog: 914096 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
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  • 87.
    Heart Of The Symphony
    Label: Kado   Catalog: 20054 Release Date: 02/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Georges Bizet,  George Frideric Handel,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
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  • 88.
    The Best Thunderous Classics
    Label: Sheridan Square   Catalog: 2016 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Sergiu Comissiona,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 89.
    The Essential Sibelius
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1697 Release Date: 11/28/2006   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Laura Vikman,  Silva Koskela,  Tiila Kangas,  Ulla Lampela  ... 
    Conductor:  Jorma Panula,  Astrid Riska,  Osmo Vänskä,  Robert Sund  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tempera String Quartet,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Jubilate Choir  ... 
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  • 90.
    The Very Best Of Sibelius
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8552135 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Håvard Gimse,  Hannu Jurmu,  Jouni Somero,  Dong-Suk Kang  ... 
    Conductor:  Patrick Gallois,  Petri Sakari,  Adrian Leaper,  Jorma Panula
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia Finlandia,  Iceland Symphony Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
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  • 91.
    Best Classics 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 70853 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gioachino Rossini,  Alexander Borodin,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Henriette Puig-Roget,  Victoria de los Angeles,  Heather Harper  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Gönnenwein,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consortium Musicum,  South German Madrigal Choir Stuttgart,  Polish Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 92.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Etc / Segerstam, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1075 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra,  Polytech Male Choir
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  • 93.
    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
    CD: $12.99
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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    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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  • 96.
    Legend - Music Of Myth, Magic And Mystery
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 33619 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Richard Wagner,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Klaus Tennstedt,  Jean Martinon,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  ORTF National Chorus  ... 
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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, En Saga / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 76847 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 99.
    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
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  • 100.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 4, Pohjola's Daughter, Finlandia / Segerstam
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1040 Release Date: 05/24/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra,  Polytech Male Choir
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