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: Lemminkainen Suite, Wood Nymph / Vanska
Release Date: 07/08/2014   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1745   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Symphonies No 1 & 4 / Vanska, Minnesota
Release Date: 03/26/2013   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1996   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Complete Symphonic Poems / Sinaisky, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 05/31/2011   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 9212   Number of Discs: 3
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Sibelius: Symphonies No 2 & 5 / Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
Release Date: 01/31/2012   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1986   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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Work: Karelia Suite, Op. 11

Browse 26-50 of 68 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Grieg: Holberg Suite;  Sibelius: Karelia / Marriner, Asmf
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412727 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 27.
    Best Karajan 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15206 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Elisabeth Grümmer,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 28.
    Herbert Von Karajan 2008 - The Great Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 16091 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Ulrich Koch,  Sviatoslav Richter,  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 30.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 1 / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 38122 Release Date: 02/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Sibelius: Tone Poems, Symphonies / Sargent, Hannikainen
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 69134 Release Date: 02/06/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Tauno Hannikainen,  Sir Malcolm Sargent
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sinfonia of London,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Romeo & Juliet; Sibelius / Davis, Boston SO
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186164 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Chorus,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    Sibelius: Pohjola's Daughter, En Saga, etc / Davis, Boston SO
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 4762817 Release Date: 11/15/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Five Nordic Masters  - Svendsen, Stenhammar, Nielsen, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1496/8 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Eduard Tubin,  Jean Sibelius,  Carl Nielsen,  Wilhelm Stenhammar  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Original Masters - Hans Rosbaud
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000303102 Release Date: 09/14/2004   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Robert Casadesus
    Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Gemini - Sibelius: Tone Poems, Songs
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85785 Release Date: 08/10/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Geoffrey Parsons,  Siv Wennberg,  Dame Gwyneth Jones
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 42.
    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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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    Sibelius: Symphonies No 1, 4, 5 & 6, Karelia / Karajan
    Label: Emi Classics Double Fforte   Catalog: 74858 Release Date: 02/12/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5, Karelia Suite / Gibson, Lso
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 468488 Release Date: 07/11/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Franz Liszt,  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Etc / Barbirolli, Halle Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 69205 Release Date: 07/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Sibelius Panorama / Karajan...
    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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  • 49.
    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
    CD: $53.99
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  • 50.
    The Best of Sibelius / Ashkenazy, Stein, et al
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4666872 Release Date: 01/03/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Horst Stein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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