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: Symphony No 2, Karelia Suite, Finlandia / Mackerras
Release Date: 09/13/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28920   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: Symphony No 5, En Saga, Swan of Tuonela, Valse Triste / Schmidt, RPO
Release Date: 05/10/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28910   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius, Ades: Violin Concertos / Hadelich, Lintu
Release Date: 03/11/2014   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2276   Number of Discs: 1
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Stravinsky: Violin Concerto;  Sibelius: Symphonies No 3 & 6 / Zehetmair, Northern Sinfonia
Release Date: 07/14/2009   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2150   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Valse triste

Browse 26-50 of 144 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Invitation To The Dance / Barenboim, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2051849 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Sibelius: Piano Pieces / Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 17 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 28.
    Sibelius: Violin Concerto; Schumann: Symphony No 2 / Sokolov, Ashkenazy
    Label: Juxtapositions   Catalog: 3078748 Release Date: 08/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Valeriy Sokolov
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 29.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 886765 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Adele Anthony
    Conductor:  Arvo Volmer
    CD: $60.99
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  • 30.
    Sibelius: Symphonies 6 & 7, Karelia / Ashkenazy, Royal Stockholm Po
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 293 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Sir John Barbirolli - The Great EMI Recordings - 40th Anniversary
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57767 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Giacomo Puccini,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  André Navarra
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Open Air - A Night With The Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2051968 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Michael Ziehrer,  Henri Wieniawski,  Richard Wagner,  Yuzo Toyama  ... 
    Performer:  Vadim Repin
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 33.
    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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  • 34.
    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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  • 35.
    Berlitz Passport - The Music Of Scandinavia
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47281 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Alfvén,  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius,  Carl Nielsen  ... 
    Performer:  Stan Freeman
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Leonard Bernstein,  Eugene Ormandy,  Howard Hanson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 36.
    Sibelius: Symphonies 1, 2, 3 & 5 / Mariss Jansons, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 97180 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 37.
    The Legend Of The Orchestra
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 94539 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Georges Prętre,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 38.
    100 Best 20th Century Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64249 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  György Ligeti,  John Adams,  George Gershwin,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Wayne Marshall,  Ralph Kirshbaum,  Tasmin Little,  Simon Haram  ... 
    Conductor:  None,  Simon Rattle,  Leonard Slatkin,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artemis String Quartet,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 39.
    Bernstein Favorites - Orchestral Dances
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46707 Release Date: 07/20/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Georges Bizet,  Johannes Brahms,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 40.
    Esprit - Melancolique
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5172 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Gabriel Fauré,  George Frideric Handel,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Laurent Korcia,  Grigory Sokolov,  Anne Gastinel,  Sandrine Piau
    Conductor:  Giovanni Antonini,  Christophe Rousset,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Laurence Equilbey  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Talens Lyriques,  Il Giardino Armonico,  English Baroque Soloists  ... 
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  • 41.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 2, Tapiola, Kuolema Suite / Blomstedt
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 433810 Release Date: 05/22/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 42.
    It Takes Two / Duo Concertante
    Label: Marquis   Catalog: 81401 Release Date: 05/05/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Clifford Crawley,  Giacomo Puccini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Steeves,  Nancy Dahn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Concertante
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  • 43.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 2, Swan Of Tuonela, Finlandia (with chorus) / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38056 Release Date: 03/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra Chorus
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  • 44.
    Sibelius: Nightride And Sunrise, Belshazzar's Feast Suite / Inkinen, New Zealand
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570763 Release Date: 12/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Pietari Inkinen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Oster Impressionen
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 182592 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Hermann Prey,  Rosemarie Lang,  Hermann-Christian Polster,  Annelies Burmeister  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Mauersberger,  Hans-Joachim Rotzsch,  Kurt Thomas,  Helmut Koch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Kreuz Choir,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Leipzig Thomaner Choir  ... 
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  • 46.
    Zen Classics - Mozart, Debussy, Etc / L. Maazel, P. Jarvi, N. Dessay, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 34865 Release Date: 11/24/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Barbara Hendricks,  Augustin Dumay,  Steven Isserlis  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Andrew Parrott,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Chamber Philharmonic Bremen,  Taverner Players,  French National Radio Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 47.
    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  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 48.
    Dance / Kathryn Stott
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10493 Release Date: 10/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Béla Bartók,  Alberto Ginastera  ... 
    Performer:  Kathryn Scott
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  • 49.
    Sibelius Edition Vol 5 - Orchestral Music For The Theatre
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1912/14 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Heikki Keinonen,  Anssi Hirvonen,  Juha-Pekka Tanskanen,  Markku Krohn  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi,  Osmo Vänskä,  Jorma Panula,  Jaakko Kuusisto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Lahti Symphony Orchestra,  Lahti Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 50.
    After Work Hour - Classical Music Selection 4
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 182762 Release Date: 07/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Christian Funke,  Siegfried Stockigt,  Egon Morbitzer
    Conductor:  Georges Sebastian,  Heinz Bongartz,  Hans Vonk,  Herbert Kegel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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