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, Liszt: Piano Concertos / Alice Sara Ott
Release Date: 10/25/2010   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001477802   Number of Discs: 1
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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: The Seasons;  Balakirev: Islamey / Bronfman
Release Date: 10/20/1998   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 60689   Number of Discs: 1
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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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Work: Capriccio Italien

Browse 1-25 of 122 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Phase 4 Stereo: Stereo Concert Series [41-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
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  • 2.
    Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien, Francesca Da Rimini / Collins, Van Beinum
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 002083002 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Anthony Collins,  Eduard Van Beinum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Tchaikovsky Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94650 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Derek Hammond-Stroud,  Janis Kelly,  Nikolai Vassiliev,  Alexander Arkhipov  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Yuri Simonov,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Bernard Haitink: The Symphony Edition [36-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002010702 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 36
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Lucia Popp,  Carolyn Watkinson,  Peter Schreier,  Robert Holl  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Chorus,  St. Willibrod Boy's Choir  ... 
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  • 5.
    Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet; Symphony No. 4; Capriccio Italian
    Label: Lodia Compact Discs   Catalog: 791 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Carlos Païta
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  • 6.
    Sir Adrian Boult - The Complete Conductor
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 1927023 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gustav Holst,  Robert Simpson,  Sir Arthur Bliss  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Tschaikowsky: Symphonie Nr. 4; Capriccio Italien
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 671 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Dmitri Kitayenko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gurzenich Orchester Koln
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  • 8.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5; Capriccio Italien
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2396 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
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  • 9.
    Eugene Ormandy Conducts Tchaikovsky
    Label: Imports   Catalog: 1119166 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22318 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
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  • 12.
    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  ... 
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  • 13.
    Tchaikovsky: Francesca Da Rimini; Italian Capriccio; Serenade For Strings
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002031 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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  • 14.
    The Art Of Valery Gergiev
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1083441 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Olga Borodina,  Lang Lang,  Sergei Levitin,  Alexander Toradze  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    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
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  • 16.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Capriccio Italien / Van Zweden, Dallas Symphony
    Label: Dallas Symphony Orchestra   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Jaap Van Zweden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 17.
    The Russian Archives - Evgeny Mravinsky Conducts Russian Composers
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9268 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Mikhail Glinka,  Maximilian Steinberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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  • 18.
    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
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  • 19.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien, Marche Slave, Swan Lake Suite / Alwyn
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4805048 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Kenneth Alwyn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Faure: Pelleas Et Melisande; Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev / Sanderling, Dresden Philharmonic
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 12238 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Michael Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    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  ... 
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  • 22.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: ARPCD0369 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Elisabeth Höngen
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi
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  • 23.
    Best Of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Label: Tgg Direct   Catalog: 60264 Release Date: 11/22/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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  • 24.
    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  ... 
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  • 25.
    Icon: William Steinberg
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 26486 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Rudolf Firkusny
    Conductor:  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
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