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Jean Sibelius


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
Eugene Ormandy conducts Sibelius
Release Date: 11/13/2015   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 88875108582   Number of Discs: 8
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Sibelius: Lemminkainen Legends; Pohjola's Daughter / Lintu
Release Date: 04/14/2015   Label: Ondine  
Catalog: 1262   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Complete Works for Mixed Choir / Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Release Date: 03/10/2015   Label: Ondine  
Catalog: 1260   Number of Discs: 2
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Sibelius: Swanwhite - Complete Incidental Music
Release Date: 10/09/2015   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573341   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: The Symphonies / Kamu, Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 11/13/2015   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2076   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Valse triste

Browse 51-75 of 120 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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  ... 
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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    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  ... 
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  • 55.
    Sibelius Edition Vol 4 - Piano Music
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1909/11 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Folke Gräsbeck,  Lasse Pöysti
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  • 56.
    Karajan - The Legend
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 15934 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Hector Berlioz,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Sibelius: Original Works And Arrangements For Cello And Piano
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570797 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jussi Makkonen,  Rait Karm
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  • 58.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5, Finlandio / Salonen
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66234 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Sibelius: Symphonic Poems / Sanderling, Berlin Symphony
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 4915 Release Date: 02/19/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Paavo Berglund,  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Moments Of Peace
    Label: Charles Suniga   Catalog: 1267 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Suniga,  Josef Strauss,  Jules Massenet,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Charles Suniga,  Siegfried Stöckigt,  Christina Funke
    Conductor:  Manfred Honeck,  Kurt Masur,  Franz Konwitschny,  Herbert Kegel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 61.
    Grieg: Holberg Suite, Sibelius: Finlandia, Etc / Boskovsky
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 411933 Release Date: 01/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Willi Boskovsky,  Walter Weller,  Kazimierz Kord,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 62.
    Waltz! / Felix Slatkin, Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63659 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Emil Waldteufel
    Conductor:  Felix Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Le Nouveau Salon - Serenata / I Salonisti
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 69299 Release Date: 05/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Yoshitomo,,  Claude Debussy,  George Enescu,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Salonisti
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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    Wagner: Siegfried Idyll; Sibelius, Wolf, Et Al / Orpheus CO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 431680 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius,  Hector Berlioz,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Sunday Evenings With Pierre Monteux - California 1941-52
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1192 Release Date: 03/13/2007   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Olivier Messiaen,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Dorothy Warenskjold,  William Kapell,  Boris Blinder,  Naum Blinder  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Standard Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $118.99
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  • 69.
    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  ... 
    CD: $87.49
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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    Sibelius: Symphonies / Blomstedt, San Francisco Symphony
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000689202 Release Date: 07/04/2006   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 72.
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5036 Release Date: 02/21/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Philip Glass,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Laurent Cabasso,  Lina Mkrtchyan,  Evgeni Talisman,  Adele Anthony  ... 
    Conductor:  Takuo Yuasa,  Laurence Equilbey,  Rinaldo Alessandrini,  Jorma Panula  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ulster Orchestra,  Accentus,  Concerto Italiano  ... 
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  • 73.
    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
    CD: $34.99
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  • 74.
    Stokowski - Percy Grainger Favorites
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 542 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger,  Jean Sibelius,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Percy Aldridge Grainger
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Sibelius: Incidental Music / Kapp, Philharmonia Virtuosi
    Label: Ess.a.y Recordings   Catalog: 1091 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Richard Kapp
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Virtuosi
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