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, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Benedetti, Hrusa, Czech Philharmonic
Release Date: 02/22/2011   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001527102   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Muti, Philharmonia
Release Date: 09/02/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 627825   Number of Discs: 5
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Songs By Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Etc / Ewa Podles, Garrick Ohlsson
Release Date: 02/24/2009   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 27   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 1-3 / Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 10/09/2012   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 710   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Sacred Choral Music / Ahmann, NDR Chor
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Carus  
Catalog: 83338   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: 1812 Overture, Op. 49

Browse 26-50 of 138 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies / Haitink, Concertgebouw [6-CD Collector's Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001915402 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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    CD: $39.99
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  • 27.
    Fritz Reiner - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 370198 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 63
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Rolf Liebermann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Jascha Heifetz,  Emil Gilels,  Inge Borkh  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Lyric Theatre Chorus,  Studio Orchestra
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    On sale! $199.98
    CD: $195.99
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  • 28.
    Carl Conducts... Classical Festival Favourites
    Label: Carl Davis Collect   Catalog: 20 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Jean Sibelius,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
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  • 29.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812; Brahms: Symphony No. 4; Borodin: In The Steppes Of Central Asia / Mengelberg, Concertgebouw
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2104 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 30.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
    CD: $154.99
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  • 31.
    Icon - Constantin Silvestri [15-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 233472 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  George Enescu,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $55.98
    CD: $35.49
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  • 32.
    A Musical Journey: Russia -  A Musical Visit To Moscow And St Petersburg
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110296 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Adrian Leaper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra,  Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $12.99
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  • 33.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Etc / Rozhdestvensky, Et Al
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1212 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yuri Ahronovitch,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
    CD: $11.99
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  • 34.
    Classics For A Summer Evening From Leeds Castle / Carl Davis
    Label: Conifer   Catalog: 51302 Release Date: 11/22/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jeremiah Clarke,  George Frideric Handel,  Léo Delibes,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Janice Watson,  Ruby Philogene
    Conductor:  Carl Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  King's Division Normandy Band,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
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  • 35.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture; Romeo And Juliet; Marche Slave
    Label: Hi. Q   Catalog: 7 Release Date: 11/20/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  André Previn
    On sale! $52.98
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  • 36.
    1812: In The Blaze Of Glory
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002012 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Osip Kozlovsky,  Anonymous,  Dimitri Bortniansky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Victor Kornachev,  N. Mikhailov,  N. Nazarov,  Alexander Rudin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Baroque Soloists
    CD: $18.99
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  • 37.
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1300 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  George Frideric Handel,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 38.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien, Romeo and Juliet Overture / Ashkenazy, Royal Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001707402 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $7.99
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  • 39.
    Best Overtures 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27333 Release Date: 05/22/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Gianluigi Gelmetti,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 40.
    Great Russian Symphonies
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501059 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper,  Gerard Schwarz,  Antoni Wit,  Theodore Kuchar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Katowice Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Seattle Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 41.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 4, 5, 6; Romeo and Juliet Overture; 1812 Overture / Barenboim, CSO
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 2564663139 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
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    On sale! $24.98
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  • 42.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812; Capriccio Italien; Cossack Dance
    Label: Lasting Impression Music   Catalog: 52 Release Date: 04/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    On sale! $42.98
    CD: $37.99
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  • 43.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Fedoseyev, Rozhdestvensky, Simonov
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94307 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Yuri Simonov,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $34.99
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  • 44.
    I Am An American / United States Air Force Concert Band & Singing Sergeants
    Label: Altissimo   Catalog: 70412 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Floyd Werlé,  Dudley Buck,  Carmen Dragon,  Morton Gould  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Hawkins Wiley,  Anne Seaton
    Conductor:  Lowell E. Graham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  United States Air Force Singing Sergeants,  United States Air Force Concert Band
    CD: $17.99
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  • 45.
    Composers Gold
    Label: United Multimedia   Catalog: 53071 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 46.
    Rise Of The Masters: 100 Supreme Classical Masterpieces
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 107 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  George Frideric Handel,  Franz Schubert,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Jakob Lindberg,  Yoshikazu Mera,  Finghin Collins,  Dubravka Tomsic  ... 
    Conductor:  Nils-Erik Sparf,  Shigeo Genda,  Bohdan Warchal,  Masaaki Suzuki  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Drottningholm Baroque Ensemble,  Bach Collegium Japan,  Arion Trio  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 47.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Muti, Philharmonia
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 97999 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Andrei Gavrilov
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    On sale! $49.98
    CD: $48.49
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  • 48.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture; Liszt, Mendelssohn, Borodin, Mussorgsky / Reiner, Cso
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 70073 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Liszt,  Dmitri Kabalevsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Capriccio Italien, 1812 Overture / Oistrakh, Kondrashin, Reiner
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 24704 Release Date: 02/17/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  USSR Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 50.
    Bernstein Edition - Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien, Romeo & Juliet
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 431047 Release Date: 12/18/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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