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: Nutcracker / Gergiev, Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 12/18/2012   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4786   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Seasons / Pavel Kolesnikov
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68028   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Seasons, Album For Children / Arkady Sevidov
Release Date: 05/08/2007   Label: Arte Nova  
Catalog: 340290   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 1, Etc / Friedmann, Nizhny Novgorod Po
Release Date: 03/11/2008   Label: Arte Nova  
Catalog: 304830   Number of Discs: 1
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Critics' Choice - Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker; Offenbach: Le Papillon / Bonynge
Release Date:    Label: Decca  
Catalog: 4767220   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: 1812 Overture, Op. 49

Browse 76-100 of 157 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 77.
    Tchaikovsky: Overtures & Fantasies / Antonio Pappano, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 70065 Release Date: 01/16/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Nikola Matisic,  Mark Stone,  Roberto Valentini
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Rome State Police Music Band,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus
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  • 78.
    Tchaikovsky: 6 Symphonies, Etc / Abbado, Chicago So, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88807 Release Date: 11/28/2006   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony 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
    On sale! $39.98
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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  ... 
    CD: $3.99
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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  ... 
    CD: $14.99
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  • 86.
    Golovanov Conducts Tchaikovsky / Gilels, Et Al
    Label: Gebhardt   Catalog: 58 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Emil Gilels,  Lyudmilla Legostayeva,  Daniel Damianoff,  Georgi Vinogradov
    Conductor:  Nikolai S. Golovanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  All-Union Radio Orchestra,  All-Union Radio/TV Large Symphony Orchestra,  All-Union Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 87.
    Tchaikovsky: War And Peace
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74605 Release Date: 04/05/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Leonard Bernstein
    CD: $4.99
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  • 88.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, 1812 Overture, Etc  / Jansons
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86076 Release Date: 02/15/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 89.
    Original Masters - Leopold Stokowski Vol 2
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000394902 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Young,  Donald McIntyre,  Heather Harper,  Helen Watts  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    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: $23.99
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  • 93.
    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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  • 94.
    Label: United Multimedia   Catalog: 6518 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    CD: $4.99
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  • 95.
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3680 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl
    CD: $9.99
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  • 96.
    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
    CD: $14.99
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  • 97.
    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
    CD: $9.99
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  • 98.
    Tchaikovsky: Fatum, Etc / Serebrier, Bamberg So
    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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  • 99.
    Rimsky-korsakov: Scheherazade;  Tchaikovsky / Muti, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics Encore   Catalog: 74751 Release Date: 08/13/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Norman Carol
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 100.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, 1812 Overture, Etc / Ormandy
    Label: Sony Classical Essential Classics   Catalog: 89957 Release Date: 08/06/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Valley Forge Military Academy Band
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