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Jean Sibelius

Sibelius' Symphonies 1 & 2: A violinist’s perspective

Sibelius in 1889/90
An overview of Sibelius' first two symphonies from the perspective of an orchestral violinist. 

Whole in one: Sibelius’ Seventh

Jean Sibelius in 1923
Cast in a single span lasting little more than 20 minutes, Sibelius’ Seventh Symphony is a miracle of compression and defies conventional analysis. 

Sibelius’ Silence?

Jean Sibelius
On 26th December, 1926, Walter Damrosch and the New York Symphonic Society gave the première of Tapiola, a tone poem depicting the forest spirit of the Kalevala. No-one knew thatTapiola would turn out to be the composer’s last major work...
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Sibelius 150: An anniversary playlist

We’ve written a lot about Sibelius in this anniversary year but for his actual 150th birthday we thought we’d offer our favourite Sibelius works for your listening enjoyment!

Sibelius and Nielsen 150: Anniversary Composers

Finland snow
In 2015, we mark the 150th anniversaries of both Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen. This month, we are publishing articles about different aspects of their lives and their music.
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CologneLondon Symphony Orchestra

Berlioz, Beethoven, Sibelius
London Symphony Orchestra; Michael Tilson Thomas; Jan Lisiecki

ReykjavikAlina Plays Sibelius

Saariaho, Sibelius, Bartók
Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Daniel Blendulf; Alina Pogostkina

BergenJohan Dalene & Gunnar Flagstad

Bull, Pärt, Sibelius, Prokofiev
Johan Dalene; Gunnar Flagstad

BergenEllen Nisbeth & Bengt Forsberg

Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Shostakovich
Ellen Nisbeth; Bengt Forsberg

BergenRandi Stene and Bengt Forsberg

Grieg, Medtner, Rachmaninov, Korngold, Sibelius
Randi Stene; Bengt Forsberg

MadridOrquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid

Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid
García Abril, Sibelius
Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid; Igor Ijurra Fernández; Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid; Jovenes Cantores de la Comunidad de Madrid; Ana González; Víctor Pablo Pérez
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BBC Scottish looks to the north for a gripping end to the season

Thomas Dausgaard © Thomas Grondahl
BBCSSO with Thomas Dausgaard, the Lund Male Choir and soloists gave a thrilling performance of Sibelius’ Kullervo with Finnish folk musicians joining the forces.
****1
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Gerhardt stars in Martinů cello concerto with Belgrade Philharmonic

Alban Gerhardt © Kaupo Kikkas
Alban Gerhardt in Martinů’s Cello Concerto no. 1 was a dazzling achievement in the Belgrade Philharmonic’s concert under Uroš Lajovic, along with atmospheric Sibelius and polished Tchaikovsky.
****1
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RPO and Pinchas Zukerman deliver safe as houses repertoire

Pinchas Zukerman © Cheryl Mazak
Assured and mostly rewarding performances from the RPO in standard fare that underlined Bruch’s nobility, Elgar’s masterly orchestration and the originality of Sibelius. 
****1
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From Sibelius to Giguère, Mälkki returns to the LSO with versatility

Susanna Mälkki © Simon Fowler
Despite an impressive Elgar concerto with Müller-Schott, it was in the Sibelius symphony that Mälkki fell short. 
***11
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Forever young: Blomstedt leads LA Phil in Beethoven and Sibelius

Herbert Blomstedt © U.K. Lengemann
Blomstedt’s lean and athletic performances of Beethoven’s and Sibelius’ second symphonies go to show that age really is just a number. 
****1
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RTÉ NSO delivers enjoyable Nielsen, Ravel and Sibelius

Javier Perianes © Josep Molina
A charming rendition of Nielsen's Aladdin Suite and Ravel’s Piano Concerto made up the first half while Martín gave us a romantic rendition of Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony.
***11
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