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: Symphony No. 6 - Dvorak: Rusalka Fantasy / Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 720   Number of Discs: 1
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Suggestions - Grieg, Nielsen, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky / GliArchi Ensemble
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Stradivarius  
Catalog: 33977   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty / Lezhnina, Ruzimatov, Kirov Ballet
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 100313   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake / Gruzin, Royal Covent Garden Ballet & Orchestra
Release Date: 06/30/2015   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1181   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom - Bortnyansky: Choir Concerto XXXII / Polyansky
Release Date: 06/03/2016   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 1327   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: 1812 Overture, Op. 49

Browse 76-100 of 130 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1, 1812 Overture / Sevidov
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 433270 Release Date: 09/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Arkady Sevidov
    Conductor:  Samuel Friedmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 77.
    Tchaikovsky, Beethoven / Dorati, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000897902 Release Date: 07/10/2007   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
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  • 78.
    The Best Thunderous Classics
    Label: Sheridan Square   Catalog: 2016 Release Date: 01/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Liszt,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Sergiu Comissiona,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 79.
    The Kelvingrave Organ / Timothy Byram-Wigfield
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34004 Release Date: 07/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  George Frideric Handel,  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Performer:  Timothy Byram-Wigfield
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  • 80.
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 95805 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann  ... 
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  • 81.
    Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies, Etc / Mehta, Lapo
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000623502 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 82.
    Label: Vox Classics   Catalog: 97012 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Isaac Albeniz,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    CD: $3.99
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  • 83.
    Label: Vox Classics   Catalog: 97003 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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  • 84.
    Label: Vox Classics   Catalog: 97007 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Gustav Holst,  Aaron Copland,  Richard Wagner  ... 
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  • 85.
    The Very Best Of Tchaikovsky
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8552117-18 Release Date: 10/18/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ilona Prunyi,  Péter Sárosi,  György Porzolt,  Gábor Magyar  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Mogrelia,  Antoni Wit,  Ondrej Lenárd,  Adrian Leaper  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kosice Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Warsaw Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra,  New Haydn Quartet  ... 
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  • 86.
    A Tchaikovsky Festival
    Label: Classical Heritage   Catalog: 5864 Release Date: 09/21/2004   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Festival Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 87.
    Classics - Tchaikovsky: 1812;  Beethoven, Liszt / Kunzel
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80640 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Trio - Tchaikovsky: Symphonic Poems, Etc / Pletnev, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000247602 Release Date: 06/15/2004   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
    CD: $25.49
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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3680 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    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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  • 93.
    Tchaikovsky: Fatum, 1812 Overture, Marche Slave, Etc. / Serebrier, Bamberg Symphony
    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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  • 94.
    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
    CD: $23.99
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  • 95.
    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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  • 96.
    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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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    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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  • 99.
    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
    CD: $16.99
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  • 100.
    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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