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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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: Yolanta / Rostropovich, Vichnievskaia
Release Date: 05/1993   Label: Erato Libretto  
Catalog: 45973   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony / Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186387   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Capriccio Italien

Browse 51-75 of 111 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    A Life In Music - The Anniversary Gala From Leipzig / Kurt Masur
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2056328 Release Date: 11/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Paul Dukas,  George Gershwin,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Middle German Radio Chorus Leipzig
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  • 52.
    Orchestral Masterworks / Steinberg, Pittsburgh Symphony
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65204 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Mikhail Glinka,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Conductor:  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies No 4-6, Etc / Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000958502 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet; Francesca Da Rimini; Capricio Italien; Overture 1812
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4643862 Release Date: 05/14/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Federation State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 56.
    The Glory Of Rostropovich / 8-Disc Set
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000839202 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Martha Argerich,  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Leonard Bernstein,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Emerson String Quartet  ... 
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  • 57.
    Russian Romantic Transcriptions / Aurora Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8557717 Release Date: 07/13/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Mily Balakirev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aurora Piano Quartet
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  • 58.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Etc / Szell, Cleveland So
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 78744 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    Nicolai Malko - The Danish Collection
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 549/50 Release Date: 02/03/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Aram Khachaturian,  Alexander Glazunov,  Anatole Liadov  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicolai Malko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish State Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Capriccio Italien
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 414 Release Date: 02/03/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Ilya Stupel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artur Rubinstein State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Weekend Classics - A Tchaikovsky Weekend
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000577302 Release Date: 01/10/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Claudio Abbado,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Charles Dutoit  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 63.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Etc / Gatti, Royal Po
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 807393 Release Date: 12/13/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Daniele Gatti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Etc / Neeme Järvi, Gothenburg So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1408 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5 / Temirkanov
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 65831 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    Original Masters - Carl Schuricht
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4756074 Release Date: 08/10/2004   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Carl Schuricht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    Jordania Conducts Tchaikovsky
    Label: Angelok   Catalog: 9920/21 Release Date: 06/29/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vakhtang Jordania
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Federal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 70.
    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
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  • 71.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Capriccio Italien / Dutoit
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 000217502 Release Date: 04/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 72.
    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
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  • 73.
    Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien, Etc / Matacic, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1330 Release Date: 02/10/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Lovro von Matacic
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Complete Collections - Tchaikovsky: Symphonies / Temirkanov
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 55781 Release Date: 12/16/2003   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Capriccio Italien, Etc / Lazarev, Bolshoi
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4608222 Release Date: 11/10/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Alexander Lazarev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra
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