Jean Sibelius

~ Person

Legal name: Johan Julius Christian Sibelius


Jean Sibelius (/sɪˈbliəs, -ˈbljəs/;  Swedish pronunciation ), born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957), was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country's greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia.

The core of his oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies which, like his other major works, continue to be performed and recorded in his home country and internationally. His best-known compositions are Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto, the choral symphony Kullervo, and The Swan of Tuonela (from the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, over a hundred songs for voice and piano, incidental music for numerous plays, the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower), chamber music, piano music, Masonic ritual music, and 21 publications of choral music. Throughout his career, the composer found inspiration in nature and Nordic mythology, especially the heroic legends of the national epic, the Kalevala.

Sibelius composed prolifically until the mid-1920s but after completing his Seventh Symphony (1924), the incidental music for The Tempest (1926), and the tone poem Tapiola (1926), he failed to produce any major works in his last thirty years, a stunning and perplexing decline commonly referred to as "The Silence of Järvenpää", the location of his home. Although he is reputed to have stopped composing, he attempted to continue writing, including abortive efforts on an eighth symphony. In later life, he wrote Masonic music and re-edited some earlier works while retaining an active but not always favourable interest in new developments in music.

The Finnish 100 mark note featured his image until 2002 when the euro was adopted. Since 2011, Finland has celebrated a Flag Day on 8 December, the composer's birthday, also known as the "Day of Finnish Music". In 2015, the 150th anniversary of the composer's birth, a number of special concerts and events were held, especially in the city of Helsinki.

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Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2015 Historical Recordings and Rarities 1928-1948 Jean Sibelius 1
2015 Remastered Edition: The Symphonies Sibelius; Bernstein 2
2015 The Seven Symphonies Sibelius; Wiener Philharmoniker, Lorin Maazel 2
Collins Sibelius Cycle, Volume 1: Karelia Overture / Symphony No. 1 / Symphony No. 7 Sibelius; London Symphony Orchestra, Anthony Collins 1
Kaikkien aikojen Sibelius-levytykset, Volume 2 Jean Sibelius; Paavo Berglund 1
Orchestral Program Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, Liszt, Sibelius, Weber; Philharmonia Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan 1
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 / Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia / Stravinsky: Firebird Suite Sibelius, Borodin, Stravinsky; Leopold Stokowski 1
Sibelius: Tone Poems / Grieg: Symphonic Dances Jean Sibelius, Edvard Grieg; Philharmonia Orchestra, Morton Gould Orchestra, Morton Gould 1
Splendeurs du Nord Edvard Grieg, Jean Sibelius 1
String Serenades Antonín Dvořák, Sir Edward Elgar, Jean Sibelius, Albert Roussel; Paul Angerer, Alois Springer, Jörg Faerber 1

Album + Compilation + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2005 Symphonies 1 & 4 Sibelius; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jukka-Pekka Saraste 1
2009 Symphonies nos. 1-7 / Kullervo Sibelius; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1992 Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony no. 1 / Sibelius: Symphony no. 5 Schoenberg, Sibelius; BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra, Jascha Horenstein 1
1995 Symphonies 1-7 Sibelius; Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Jukka-Pekka Saraste 1
1996 Sibelius ja Segerstam Japanissa Sibelius; Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Pekka Kuusisto, Leif Segerstam 1
2000 Live in Tokyo 1970 Weber, Mozart, Sibelius, Berlioz; The Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell 2
2004 Symphonies nos. 5 & 6 Sibelius; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 1
2006 Songs by Sibelius, Strauss and Berg Jean Sibelius, Richard Strauss, Alban Berg; Soile Isokoski, Marita Viitasalo 2
2006 Symphony no. 2 Sibelius; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Mariss Jansons 1
2006 Symphony no. 2 / En saga / Luonnotar Jean Sibelius; Staatskapelle Dresden, Sir Colin Davis 1
2007 Symphony no. 2 / Pohjola’s Daughter Sibelius; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 3
2007 BBC Music, Volume 15, Number 13: En Saga / Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7 Jean Sibelius; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1
2007 Live from Walt Disney Concert Hall: Sibelius: Symphony No. 2 Sibelius; Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen 5 1
2008 Symphonies nos. 1 & 4 Sibelius; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis 2
2011 Sibelius: Symphony no. 5 / Pohjola's Daughter / Lutoslawski: Concerto for Orchestra Jean Sibelius, Witold Lutosławski; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Jukka-Pekka Saraste 1
2012 Symphony no. 5 / Symphony no. 6 / The Swan of Tuonela Jean Sibelius; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Paavo Berglund 1
2015 Symphonie nº 2 / Le retour de Lemminkäinen Sibelius; Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, Paul Daniel 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2003 Sibelius: Music From Timo Koivusalo's Film Jean Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, Jaakko Kuusisto, Folke Gräsbeck 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
The Swan of Tuonela Sibelius; The Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2015 BBC Music, Volume 23, Number 5: Symphony no. 4 / Finlandia / The Swan of Tuonela Sibelius; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Dausgaard, Andrew Manze, John Storgårds 1

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