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 No 5 & 6 / Colin Davis, London So
Release Date: 06/08/2004   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 37   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Symphonies 2 And 7 / Paavo Berglund, London Po
Release Date: 11/15/2005   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 5   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 7 in C major, Op. 105

Browse 1-25 of 65 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 5, 7 & En Saga / Elder
    Label: Hallé   Catalog: 7543 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Mark Elder
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 2.
    The Leonard Bernstein Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002462302 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 64
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Alessi,  Glenn Dicterow,  Philip Smith,  Jaap Van Zweden  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Bach Festival Percussion Ensemble
    CD: $202.99
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  • 3.
    Sibelius & Debussy: Orchestral Works / Mravinsky, Leningrad Philharmonic
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350106 Release Date: 04/01/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Claude Debussy
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $23.99
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  • 4.
    Eugene Ormandy conducts Sibelius
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88875108582 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Dylana Jenson,  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra Chorus,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    CD: $23.99
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  • 5.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies / Lintu [5 DVD]
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101796 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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    DVD: $79.99
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  • 6.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies / Lintu, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Blu-ray)
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101797 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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    Blu-ray Video: $79.99
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  • 7.
    Sibelius: The Symphonies / Kamu, Lahti Symphony
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2076 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Okko Kamu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Sibelius: The Seven Symphonies / Maazel [4 CDs & 1 Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002389802 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $54.98
    CD: $52.99
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  • 9.
    The CBSO Years / Rattle
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552758 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 52
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  Benjamin Britten,  Kurt Weill,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer,  Ameral Gunson,  John Mitchinson,  Malcolm King  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus,  Christ Church Cathedral Choir Men and Boys  ... 
    CD: $124.49
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  • 10.
    Sibelius Edition [14-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002362202 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Johanna Rusanen-Kartano,  Esa Ruuttunen,  Soile Isokoski,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Okko Kamu,  Herbert von Karajan,  Jorma Panula  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Helsinki Radio Symphony,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 11.
    Sibelius: Histoical Recordings and Rarities 1928-48
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552772 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Helmi [Soprano Vocal] Liukkonen,  Jascha Heifetz,  Gerald Moore,  Emil Telmányi  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Kajanus,  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Jean Sibelius,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $24.99
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  • 12.
    Sibelius: Symphonies 1-7 / Simon Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic [4 CDs; 1 Blu-ray Audio; 1 Blu-ray Video]
    Label: Berlin Philharmonic   Catalog: 150071 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $118.99
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  • 13.
    Sibelius: Great Performances
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002376002 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jan Damen,  Ruggiero Ricci,  Kirsten Flagstad,  Birgit Nilsson
    Conductor:  Anthony Collins,  Thomas Jensen,  Eduard Van Beinum,  Erik Tuxen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $65.99
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  • 14.
    Sibelius: Symphoniesi Nr. 1 & 7 /   Uppsala Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Swedish Society Discofil   Catalog: 1161 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Paul Mägi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Uppsala Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 15.
    Sibelius: Symphonies... / Bernstein, New York
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 502614 Release Date: 07/24/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Edvard Grieg,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Phyllis Curtis,  Zino Francescatti
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Thomas Schippers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 16.
    Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 7 / Sondergard, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 462 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Thomas Sondergard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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    CD: $22.49
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  • 17.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 619878 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle
    CD: $21.99
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  • 18.
    Sibelius: Symphonies 5-7, Orchestral Works / Collins, Jensen
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002126502 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Anthony Collins,  Thomas Jensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $22.49
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  • 19.
    Colin Davis Conducts Sibelius
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 431352 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Hillevi Martinpelto,  Karl Magnus Fredriksson
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
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  • 20.
    Karajan: Orchestra Spectaculars From Handel To Bartok
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633621 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Benjamin Britten,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $99.95
    CD: $85.99
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  • 21.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies / John Storgards, BBC Philharmonic
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10809 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  John Storgĺrds
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $37.49
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  • 22.
    Sir Colin Davis - The Complete RCA Legacy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300607 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Barbara Fleckenstein,  Ben Heppner,  Heinrich Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus  ... 
    CD: $115.49
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  • 23.
    Herbert Blomstedt - The San Francisco Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002032302 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Berwald,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Jard Van Nes,  Elisabeth Norberg-Schulz,  Wolfgang Holzmair,  Wendy Hoffman  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $63.49
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  • 24.
    Sibelius: Complete Symphonies, Orchestral Works / Barbirolli, Halle
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 8470624 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $22.99
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  • 25.
    Sibelius: Symphonies 6 & 7, Tapiola / Spano, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Aso Media (Label)   Catalog: 1004 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Robert Spano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $18.99
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