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: The Oprichnik / Rozhdestvensky
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94390   Number of Discs: 3
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Tchaikovsky, Grieg: Piano Concertos / Stewart Goodyear
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Steinway & Sons  
Catalog: 30035   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Work: 1812 Overture, Op. 49

Browse 51-75 of 165 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Bernstein Favorites - Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italian, Marche Slav, 1812 Overture, Romeo & Juliet
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 46711 Release Date: 09/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 52.
    Ultimate Russian Classics [5-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001313502 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Ernest Ansermet,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 53.
    Waldbuhne Concert - Russian Night
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4508 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Lincke,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Aram Khachaturian,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, 1812 Overture / Poppen, Et Al
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 728 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Christoph Poppen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, 1812 Overture / Poppen, Et Al
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 728 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Christoph Poppen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture; Beethoven: Wellington's Victory / Ormandy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38126 Release Date: 05/08/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Ultimate Classical Spectacular - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001274702 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Loveday,  Christopher Warren-Green
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Charles Dutoit
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  • 58.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Salonen, Bavarian Rso
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412552 Release Date: 01/30/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mily Balakirev,  Alexander Borodin,  Mikhail Glinka
    Conductor:  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 59.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Maazel, Vienna Po
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 37252 Release Date: 01/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus
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  • 60.
    Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet, Capriccio Italien, 1812 Overture / Simonov
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28120 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, 1812 Overture / Dohnányi
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 425792 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Christoph von Dohnányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Romeo & Juliet, Serenade For Strings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 455971 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Chamber Choir,  Leningrad Military Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Romeo & Julia, Etc / Bernstein
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 439983 Release Date: 08/19/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812, Marche Slave, Romeo & Juliet / Mehta
    Label: London/Decca Weekend Classics   Catalog: 417683 Release Date: 08/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Gala Tribute To Tchaikovsky / Domingo, Te Kanawa, Royal Ballet
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 1488 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Sergei Leiferkus,  Placido Domingo,  Anna Tomowa-Sintow,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
    Conductor:  Placido Domingo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Imago 2 - 1812 Overture
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 419407 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 67.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    On sale! $253.98
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  • 68.
    Power Of Classics: Handel, Bach, Mozart, Bizet, Rossini
    Label: Bell'art   Catalog: 768066 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Georges Bizet,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
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  • 69.
    Triples - Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4 - 6, Overtures / Muti, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 09435 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Anthony Gigliotti
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Flor, Berlin Sym
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 60119 Release Date: 01/21/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Jean Sibelius,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Symphony Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Cinema Classics 2007 - Classical Music Made Famous In Films
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8556834 Release Date: 12/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  Bernd Glemser,  Elena Filipova,  Priti Coles,  Jénö Jandó  ... 
    Conductor:  Bjarte Engeset,  Michael Halász,  Antoni Wit,  Kevin Mallon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Iceland Symphony Orchestra,  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra,  The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 72.
    Symphonic Brass - Verdi, Bizet, Gershwin, Et Al
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570726 Release Date: 11/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  John T. Williams,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicholas J. Childs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Black Dyke Mills Band
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  • 73.
    The Arthur Fiedler Legacy - Symphonic Spectacular
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001005702 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Aram Khachaturian,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 74.
    Tchaikovsky: Overture
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 411448 Release Date: 10/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Tchaikovsky Cycle Vol 4 - Symphony No 4, 1812 Overture, Violin Concerto
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102127 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Victor Tretiakov
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $19.99
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