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, Liszt: Piano Concertos / Alice Sara Ott
Release Date: 10/25/2010   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001477802   Number of Discs: 1
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Leonard Slatkin Conducts Tchaikovsky Ballets
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 1920082   Number of Discs: 6
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Claudio Abbado Conducts Tchaikovsky
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Sony (Nax615)  
Catalog: 836722   Number of Discs: 6
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Tchaikovsky: Yolanta / Rostropovich, Vichnievskaia
Release Date: 05/1993   Label: Erato Libretto  
Catalog: 45973   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony / Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186387   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: 1812 Overture, Op. 49

Browse 101-125 of 168 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Expanded Edition - Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Bernstein, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 93076 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $8.99
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  • 102.
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3680 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
    CD: $9.99
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  • 103.
    Masterpieces - Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Masterpieces Vol 1
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1190 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux,  Leopold Stokowski,  Mario Rossi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  American Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc/ Kuchar, Ukraine National So
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555923 Release Date: 07/15/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Theodore Kuchar
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ukrainian National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Tchaikovsky: Fatum, Etc / Serebrier, Bamberg So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1283 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  José Serebrier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 106.
    Rimsky-korsakov: Scheherazade;  Tchaikovsky / Muti, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 74751 Release Date: 08/13/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Norman Carol
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 107.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, 1812 Overture, Etc / Ormandy
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 89957 Release Date: 08/06/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Valley Forge Military Academy Band
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  • 108.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Nikolai Golovanov
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75112 Release Date: 06/04/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Alexander Glazunov
    Conductor:  Nikolai S. Golovanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 109.
    101 Great Orchestral Classics
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550001 Release Date: 01/25/2002   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Erik Satie,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
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  • 110.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies, Overtures /Abravanel, Utah
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 3603 Release Date: 10/16/2001   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Et Al / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 70541 Release Date: 09/04/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Greater Cincinnati Children's Choir,  Kiev Symphony Chorus
    DVD Audio: $24.99
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  • 112.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1, Swan Lake, Etc
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469271 Release Date: 08/14/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Lorin Maazel,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Minnesota Brass Band,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 113.
    Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Et Al / Hollreiser
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: 8022 Release Date: 07/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Westminster - Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov / Scherchen
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471215 Release Date: 06/12/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Rudolf Streng
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra
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  • 115.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Et Al / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80541 Release Date: 05/22/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Kiev Symphony Chorus,  Greater Cincinnati Children's Choir
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  • 116.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Marche Slave, Etc /Kunzel, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 60541 Release Date: 05/22/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Kiev Symphony Chorus,  Greater Cincinnati Children's Choir
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  • 117.
    Eloquence - Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Etc / Ozawa, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469611 Release Date: 03/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Karajan Conducts Tchaikovsky / Ferras, Berlin Po, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463774 Release Date: 03/13/2001   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Christian Ferras,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Don Kossack Choir
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  • 119.
    Merit - Stokowski Conducts Music From Russia Vol 3
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4847 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Anatole Liadov,  Alexander Scriabin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 120.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Etc / Nikolay Golovanov, Et Al
    Label: Boheme Music   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Nikolai S. Golovanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  All-Union Radio/TV Large Symphony Orchestra
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  • 121.
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 946089 Release Date: 07/03/2000   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Johann Pachelbel,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
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  • 122.
    The Best Of Tchaikovsky / Mackerras, Zinman, Slatkin, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80539 Release Date: 06/27/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Horacio Gutierrez
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Erich Kunzel,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 123.
    Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherezade; Tchaikovsky / Karajan
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 463614 Release Date: 06/13/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Don Kossack Choir
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  • 124.
    Borodin, Mussorgsky, Et Al / Heinrich Hollreiser, Vienna So
    Label: Tuxedo Music   Catalog: 1009 Release Date: 04/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Heinrich Hollreiser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Tchaikovsky: Popular Orchestral Works / Mehta, Israel PO, Los Angeles PO
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4666842 Release Date: 02/28/2000  
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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