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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Ives: Three Places in New England; Sibelius, Wagner / Michael Tilson Thomas
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Ica Classics  
Catalog: 5111   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: Suites - Pelleas et Melisande, King Christian II, Swanwhite / Sakari
Release Date: 07/29/2014   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10828   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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Stravinsky: Rite of Spring; Sibelius: Symphony No 5 / Bernstein
Release Date: 09/25/2012   Label: Ica Classics  
Catalog: 5082   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Valse triste

Browse 51-75 of 146 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Original Jacket Collection - Eugene Ormandy
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 727987 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Anshel Brusilow,  Isaac Stern,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    Sibelius: Lemminkäinen Suite, Pelléas Et Mélisande, Etc / Järvi
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 22055 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Lilli Paasikivi,  Lars-Erik Jonsson,  Solveig Kringelborn,  Garry Magee  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Estonian National Symphony Orchestra,  Estonian National Male Choir  ... 
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  • 54.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5, Finlandio / Salonen
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66234 Release Date: 04/07/2008   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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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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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  • 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: 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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    Sibelius: En Saga, Tapiola, Finlandia, Violin Concerto / Damen, Beinum, Jensen
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4429487 Release Date: 09/08/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jan Damen
    Conductor:  Eduard Van Beinum,  Thomas Jensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Sibelius: Complete Piano Music Edition / Servadei
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 5001 Release Date: 08/07/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Annette Servadei
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  • 65.
    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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  • 66.
    Le Nouveau Salon - Serenata / I Salonisti
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 69299 Release Date: 05/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Yoshitomo,,  Claude Debussy,  George Enescu,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Salonisti
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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    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
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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    Scandinavian Serenade: Works By Grieg, Nielsen, Sibelius, Wiren / Marriner, Academy Of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4428196 Release Date: 08/07/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Carl Nielsen,  Jean Sibelius,  Dag Wirén
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 74.
    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
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  • 75.
    Melancolie
    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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