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Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Biography

Born: May 7, 1840; Russia   Died: Nov 6, 1893; Russia   Period: Romantic
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky was the author of some of the most popular themes in all of classical music. He founded no school, struck out no new paths or compositional methods, and sought few innovations in his works. Yet the power and communicative sweep of his best music elevates it to classic status, even if it lacks the formal boldness and harmonic sophistication heard in the compositions of his contemporaries, Wagner and Bruckner. It was Read more Tchaikovsky's unique melodic charm that could, whether in his Piano Concerto No. 1 or in his ballet The Nutcracker or in his tragic last symphony, make the music sound familiar on first hearing.
Tchaikovsky was born into a family of five brothers and one sister. He began taking piano lessons at age four and showed remarkable talent, eventually surpassing his own teacher's abilities. By age nine, he exhibited severe nervous problems, not least because of his overly sensitive nature. The following year, he was sent to St. Petersburg to study at the School of Jurisprudence. The loss of his mother in 1854 dealt a crushing blow to the young Tchaikovsky. In 1859, he took a position in the Ministry of Justice, but longed for a career in music, attending concerts and operas at every opportunity. He finally began study in harmony with Zaremba in 1861, and enrolled at the St. Petersburg Conservatory the following year, eventually studying composition with Anton Rubinstein.
In 1866, the composer relocated to Moscow, accepting a professorship of harmony at the new conservatory, and shortly afterward turned out his First Symphony, suffering, however, a nervous breakdown during its composition. His opera The Voyevoda came in 1867-1868 and he began another, The Oprichnik, in 1870, completing it two years later. Other works were appearing during this time, as well, including the First String Quartet (1871), the Second Symphony (1873), and the ballet Swan Lake (1875).
In 1876, Tchaikovsky traveled to Paris with his brother, Modest, and then visited Bayreuth, where he met Liszt, but was snubbed by Wagner. By 1877, Tchaikovsky was an established composer. This was the year of Swan Lake's premiere and the time he began work on the Fourth Symphony (1877-1878). It was also a time of woe: in July, Tchaikovsky, despite his homosexuality, foolishly married Antonina Ivanovna Milyukova, an obsessed admirer, their disastrous union lasting just months. The composer attempted suicide in the midst of this episode. Near the end of that year, Nadezhda von Meck, a woman he would never meet, became his patron and frequent correspondent.
Further excursions abroad came in the 1880s, along with a spate of successful compositions, including the Serenade for Strings (1881), 1812 Overture (1882), and the Fifth Symphony (1888). In both 1888 and 1889, Tchaikovsky went on successful European tours as a conductor, meeting Brahms, Grieg, Dvorák, Gounod, and other notable musical figures. Sleeping Beauty was premiered in 1890, and The Nutcracker in 1892, both with success.
Throughout Tchaikovsky's last years, he was continually plagued by anxiety and depression. A trip to Paris and the United States followed one dark nervous episode in 1891. Tchaikovsky wrote his Sixth Symphony, "Pathétique," in 1893, and it was successfully premiered in October, that year. The composer died ten days later of cholera, or -- as some now contend -- from drinking poison in accordance with a death sentence conferred on him by his classmates from the School of Jurisprudence, who were fearful of shame on the institution owing to an alleged homosexual episode involving Tchaikovsky. Read less
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Bolshoi Ballet
Release Date: 11/30/1999   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 62   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Rattle, Berlin PO [Deluxe Edition]
Release Date: 10/25/2010   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 31621   Number of Discs: 2
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Yuri Temirkanov conducts Tchaikovsky
Release Date: 10/28/2016   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 88985314362   Number of Discs: 6
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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 / Currentzis, MusicAeterna
Release Date: 11/03/2017   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 88985404352   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Complete Orchestral Suites / Marriner, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 06/26/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94372   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Nutcracker, Op. 71

Browse 1-25 of 92 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Dudamel, Los Angeles Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002936002 Release Date: 11/30/2018   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Gustavo Dudamel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    A Lifetime on Chandos / Jarvi
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 20088 Release Date: 08/31/2018   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Igor Stravinsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Lott,  Laurence Kaptain,  Vladimir Grishko,  Irina Mishura-Lekhtman  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Scottish National Orchestra members  ... 
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    On sale! $132.99
    CD: $104.99
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  • 3.
    Nureyev Box: Swan Lake, The Nutcracker & Don Quixote / Vienna State Opera
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 747008 Release Date: 08/24/2018   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léon Fyodorovich Minkus
    Conductor:  Alexander Ingram,  Paul Connelly,  Kevin Rhodes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $54.49
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  • 4.
    Nureyev Box: Swan Lake, The Nutcracker & Don Quixote / Vienna State Opera [Blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 747104 Release Date: 08/24/2018   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léon Fyodorovich Minkus
    Conductor:  Alexander Ingram,  Paul Connelly,  Kevin Rhodes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $54.49
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  • 5.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Gruzin, Royal Opera House
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1252 Release Date: 10/27/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Boris Gruzin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Gruzin, Royal Opera House [Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7229 Release Date: 10/27/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Boris Gruzin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Orchestra
    On sale! $39.99
    Blu-ray Video: $32.49
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  • 7.
    Boston Symphony Orchestra: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797718 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 57
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Zukofsky,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Teresa Berganza  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  William Steinberg,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Chamber Players
    Recommendation
    CD: $248.99
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  • 8.
    Kakhidze - The Legacy, Vol. 6: Tchaikovsky / Gabunia, Tbilisi Symphony
    Label: Cugate Classics   Catalog: 34 Release Date: 07/21/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Nodar Gabunia
    Conductor:  Jansug Kakhidze
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 9.
    Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake & Nutcracker / Jarvi, Bergen Philharmonic
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 5204 Release Date: 07/21/2017   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bergen Guttekor
    SuperAudio CD: $58.99
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  • 10.
    Tchaikovsky: The 3 Ballets at the Bolshoi / Sorokin, Sinaisky, Klinichev, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra [Blu-ray]
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 612 Release Date: 12/09/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Pavel Sorokin,  Vassili Sinaisky,  Pavel Klinichev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $58.99
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  • 11.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker - Stravinsky: Divertimento / Kitajenko, Gurzenich-Orchestra Cologne
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 448 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  Dmitrij Kitajenko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 12.
    Tchaikovsky: The 3 Ballets at the Bolshoi / Sorokin, Sinaisky, Klinichev, Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 611 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Pavel Sorokin,  Vassili Sinaisky,  Pavel Klinichev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
    DVD: $48.99
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  • 13.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Karoui, Balanchine, New York City Ballet
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 738608 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Faycal Karoui
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York City Ballet Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Karoui, Balanchine, New York City Ballet [Blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 738704 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Faycal Karoui
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York City Ballet Orchestra
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    Blu-ray Video: $37.99
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  • 15.
    Royal Ballet: The Collection [Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7210 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Adolphe Adam,  Léon Fyodorovich Minkus,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Clark,  Anssi Karttunen
    Conductor:  Boris Gruzin,  Valeriy Ovsyanikov,  Martin Yates,  Koen Kessels  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Max Richter Quintet
    Blu-ray Video: $148.99
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  • 16.
    Royal Ballet: The Collection [DVD]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1222 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Adolphe Adam,  Léon Fyodorovich Minkus,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Clark,  Anssi Karttunen
    Conductor:  Boris Gruzin,  Valeriy Ovsyanikov,  Martin Yates,  Koen Kessels  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Max Richter Quintet
    DVD: $148.99
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  • 17.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Gergiev, Mariinsky Orchestra
    Label: Mariinsky   Catalog: 0593 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $24.99
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  • 18.
    Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty & The Nutcracker / Previn, London Symphony
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556721 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $22.99
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  • 19.
    Decca Sound – Dutoit: The Montreal Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002449102 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ernest Chausson,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Timothy Hutchins,  Beverly Hoch,  Stanford Olsen  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Montreal Symphony Chorus
    CD: $137.49
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  • 20.
    Happy Go Lucky
    Label: Klanglogo   Catalog: 1516 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Edvard Grieg,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Burhan Ocal,  Howard Griffiths,  Giulietta Koch,  Istanbul Oriental Ensemble  ... 
    Conductor:  Howard Griffiths
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Istanbul Oriental Ensemble
    CD: $18.99
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  • 21.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Salenko, Walter, Berlin Staatsballet (Blu-ray)
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 425 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Robert Reimer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Staatsballet Berlin
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 22.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Salenko, Walter, Berlin Staatsballet (DVD)
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 125 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Robert Reimer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsche Opera Orchestra Berlin,  Deutsche Opera Berlin Children's Choir
    On sale! $24.99
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 23.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker - Complete Ballet Arranged for Solo Piano / Goodyear
    Label: Steinway & Sons   Catalog: 30040 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Stewart Goodyear
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  • 24.
    Tchaikovsky: Masterworks Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002362102 Release Date: 09/04/2015   Number of Discs: 27
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Rosemarie Lang,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Ruthid Engert-Ely,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Seiji Ozawa,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden,  Tchaikovsky Choir,  French National Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $92.49
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  • 25.
    Great Ballets From The Bolshoi  [4 DVDs]
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 609 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Boris Asafiev,  Adolphe Adam,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Pavel Sorokin,  Pavel Klinichev,  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
    DVD: $39.99
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