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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Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Riccardo Muti
Release Date: 09/02/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 627825   Number of Discs: 5
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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 Piano Concertos No 1 & 2 / Trpceski, Petrenko, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
Release Date: 09/09/2014   Label: Onyx (Classical Label)  
Catalog: 4135   Number of Discs: 1
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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 151-166 of 166 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Depreist, Oregon Symphony
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3081 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  James DePreist
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oregon Symphony Orchestra
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  • 152.
    Label: Imp Classics   Catalog: 21 Release Date: 09/01/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Richard Wagner  ... 
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  • 153.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Abbado, Chicago So
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47179 Release Date: 10/18/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 154.
    Classics - Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60836 Release Date: 09/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  James Pappoutsakis,  Newton Wayland,  José Luis Garcia
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Fritz Reiner,  Rudolf Baumgartner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 155.
    Tchaikovsky - Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60845 Release Date: 09/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Arthur Fiedler,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Wilhelm Schüchter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Pops,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 156.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 3, Etc / Abbado, Chicago So
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 45939 Release Date: 08/23/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 157.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture / Ormandy, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Rca Victrola   Catalog: 60492 Release Date: 06/21/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $6.99
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  • 158.
    The Best Of Tchaikovsky
    Label: Rca Victrola   Catalog: 60775 Release Date: 06/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  John Browning
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Schüchter,  Eugene Ormandy,  Fritz Reiner,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 159.
    The Best Of Tchaikovsky
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551102 Release Date: 03/24/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mariko Honda,  Balázs Szokolay
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd,  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Keith Clark,  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony,  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 160.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812, Marche Slave, Etc / Järvi, Gothenburg So
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 429984 Release Date: 03/08/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Chorus,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 161.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Kunzel, Cincinnati So
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80041 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
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  • 162.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Romeo & Juliet, Etc / Doráti
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 417742 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.
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  • 163.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812, Etc / Dutoit, Montreal So
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 417300 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Chorus,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 164.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Serenade, Etc / Karajan, Berlin
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 415855 Release Date: 08/01/1987   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 165.
    Tchaikovsky Gala In Leningrad / Ma, Norman, Perlman, Et Al
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 60739 Release Date: 09/10/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Evgeni Shenderovich,  Jessye Norman,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leningrad Military Orchestra
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