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
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: Romeo & Juliet, Capriccio Italien, 1812 Overture / Simonov
Release Date: 11/11/2008   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28120   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings; Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik; Grieg / simonov
Release Date: 10/12/2010   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28190   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Oprichnik / Rozhdestvensky
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94390   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: 1812 Overture, Op. 49

Browse 126-150 of 167 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    Battling Classics
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 1036 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz von Suppé,  Aram Khachaturian,  Frédéric Chopin,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $3.99
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  • 127.
    Greatest Masterpieces Of The Millennium - Tchaikovsky
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 1736 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $3.99
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  • 128.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Domingo, Philharmonia
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73297 Release Date: 04/20/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ofra Harnoy,  Randall Behr
    Conductor:  Placido Domingo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 129.
    Cinema Classics 6
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 556626 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean de Sainte-Colombe,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Marie Knight,  Alison Crum,  Elizabeth Liddle,  Susanna Pell  ... 
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper,  Bohdan Warchal,  Alexander Rahbari,  Anthony Bramall  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectre de la Rose,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
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  • 130.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 2, 1812 Overture, Fate / Pletnev
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453446 Release Date: 06/29/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
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  • 131.
    The Tchaikovsky Album / Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 455810 Release Date: 06/09/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 132.
    Symphonic Battle Scenes / Maazel, Bayerischen Rundfunks
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 68471 Release Date: 11/11/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 133.
    The Best Of Tchaikovsky
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556652 Release Date: 09/11/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ilona Prunyi,  Takako Nishizaki,  Maria Kliegel,  Bernd Glemser
    Conductor:  Antoni Wit,  Philippe Entremont,  Ondrej Lenárd,  Adrian Leaper  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice,  Vienna Chamber Orchestra,  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava  ... 
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  • 134.
    Tchaikovsky Spectacular / Litton, Dallas Symphony Orchestra And Chorus
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3196 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Svetlana Furdui,  Vassily Gerelo
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Chorus
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  • 135.
    Reiner Conducts Tchaikovsky / Chicago Symphony
    Label: Rca Victor Living Stereo   Catalog: 61246 Release Date: 02/27/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Liszt
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 136.
    Tchaikovsky Album
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 61978 Release Date: 11/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vato Kahi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Georgian Festival Orchestra
    CD: $4.99
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  • 137.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc;  Beethoven / Dorati, Et Al
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434360 Release Date: 11/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Kamiel Lefévre
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  University of Minnesota Brass Band,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 138.
    An Evening With The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68860 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Emil Waldteufel  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Rabin,  Leonard Pennario
    Conductor:  Felix Slatkin,  Carmen Dragon,  Miklós Rózsa,  Earl Bernard Murray  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 139.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Romeo & Juliet, Marche Slave
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 69033 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Igor Markevitch,  Felix Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 140.
    1812 / The Swingle Singers
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 45134 Release Date: 09/19/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  King VIII Henry,  Paul McCartney,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swingle Singers
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  • 141.
    Tchaikovsky:
    Label: Dg Masters   Catalog: 445523 Release Date: 05/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 142.
    Russian Favorites - Tchaikovsky, Borodin, Glinka
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 64562 Release Date: 04/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Mikhail Glinka,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Jahni Mardjani,  Stanislav Gorkovenko,  Vato Kahi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Georgian Festival Orchestra,  Russian Radio/TV Orchestra of St. Petersburg
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  • 143.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien, Etc / Dorati
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 443003 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.,  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
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  • 144.
    Tchaikovsky: Tone Poems / Markevitch, Inbal, Haitink
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 442586 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch,  Eliahu Inbal,  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 145.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6;  Smetana / Alexander Gibson
    Label: Chesky Records   Catalog: 65 Release Date: 06/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra,  London Festival Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 146.
    Overtures - The Greatest Hits
    Label: Reference Gold   Catalog: 3611 Release Date: 04/13/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Jacques Offenbach,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slavonic Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Festival Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 147.
    Tchaikovsky - The Greatest Hits
    Label: Reference Gold   Catalog: 3605 Release Date: 04/13/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Hans Lang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Festival Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 148.
    Best Of Naxos Vol 6
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 550006 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Ernst Ottensamer,  Takako Nishizaki,  István Székely
    Conductor:  Johannes Wildner,  Adrian Leaper,  Mátyás Antal,  Ondrej Lenárd  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hungarian State Orchestra  ... 
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  • 149.
    Tchaikovsky: Tchaikovsky Festival
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550500 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 150.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture; Borodin, Glinka, Khachaturian / Gergiev, Kirov
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442011 Release Date: 01/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anatole Liadov,  Aram Khachaturian  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Chorus,  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Dutch Royal Military Band
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