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

Work: Karelia Suite, Op. 11

Browse 26-50 of 56 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 1, Etc / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 69028 Release Date: 08/05/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Sibelius Edition Vol 8 - Orchestral Music
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1921/3 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Jaakko Kuusisto,  Neeme Järvi,  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $65.99
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  • 28.
    Best Karajan 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 15206 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Bernard Walton,  Dennis Brain,  Lothar Koch,  Maurice André  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 29.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Warner 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
    CD: $194.99
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 1 / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 38122 Release Date: 01/31/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia 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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    CD: $18.99
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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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    CD: $87.49
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  • 34.
    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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    CD: $34.99
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  • 35.
    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
    CD: $25.49
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  • 36.
    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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  • 37.
    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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  • 38.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Finlandia, Etc / Sarbu, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75566 Release Date: 10/01/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Eugene Sarbu
    Conductor:  Ole Schmidt,  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Grieg: Holberg Suite;  Sibelius: Karelia / Marriner, Asmf
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412727 Release Date: 11/02/2001   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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  • 40.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5, Karelia Suite / Gibson, Lso
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 468488 Release Date: 07/11/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 1, Etc / Mariss Jansons, Oslo Po
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 54273 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    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
    CD: $9.99
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  • 45.
    Sibelius: Karelia Suite, Etc / Osmo Vänskä, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 918 Release Date: 02/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Anna-Lisa Jakobson,  Raimo Laukka
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $21.49
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  • 46.
    Sibelius: Karelia, Kuolema (Complete) / Vänskä, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 915 Release Date: 01/25/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Kirsi Tiihonen,  Raimo Laukka,  Pertti Kuusi,  Heikki Laitinen  ... 
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $21.49
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  • 47.
    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
    CD: $19.99
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  • 48.
    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
    CD: $19.99
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  • 49.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 50.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto, Etc / Kuusisto, Segerstam
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 878 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Päivi Korhonen,  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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