Monday, October 17, 2011

Jean Sibelius: Complete Works With Opus Number

""The people you think are radicals might really be conservatives – the people you think are conservatives might really be radical." - Morton Feldman in a lecture in Darmstadt, before he started to hum Sibelius's Fifth Symphony.

Jean Sibelius is arguably the greatest Nordic composer of all time. Largely thanks to outstanding Scandinavian labels like Ondine, Finlandia, and BIS, almost every note Sibelius ever wrote (and didn't burn) is available on Spotify. I compiled a playlist for all the works with opus number, as well as early version of the Violin Concerto, Symphony No.5 (in 4 movements) and Oceanides (Yale Version). I tried to feature as many excellent recordings as possible, but I don't know Sibelius that well to pick the "best" version for each work (is there such a thing as a definite recording of Sibelius symphony no. 2?) Please recommend any recording that you think deserves to be in this playlist, thanks.

Sibelius spent much time producing profitable chamber music for home use, salon music, occasional works for the stage and other incidental music, many of them do not bear opus number (hence not featured).

Here's the Spotify playlist: Jean Sibelius: Complete Works With Opus Number (500 tracks, total time: 1 day). Press Ctrl (CMD)+G to browse in album view. Put it on random when you crave for Radio Sibelius.

The last track of the playlist is a radio broadcast recording of Andante Festivo from January 1, 1939, with Sibelius conducting. It is the only recorded example of the composer interpreting one of his own works.


  1. Just updated the playlist and made it more US-friendly (many DG/Decca recordings that were in the playlist are not available on Spotify USA).

  2. You're missing at least 'Saarella palaa (Fire on the island)' from Op18, Six works for male choir, song number 4. There are several versions of that in spotify (for example . Noticed this because 'Sydämeni laulu' (number Op18No6) is one of my favourite choral works.

  3. Thanks, added the missing track, and listening to op18 now.

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