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 & Khachaturian: Piano Concertos / Wang
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5167   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky & Dvorak: Serenades / Berglund
Release Date: 03/25/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 243   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Seasons & Grand Sonata / Kempf
Release Date: 01/08/2016   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 2140   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky & Grieg: Piano Concertos / Kozhukhin, Sinaisky
Release Date: 04/08/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186566   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky Selections / Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra
Release Date: 04/08/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186550   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Capriccio Italien

Browse 51-75 of 99 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Concert Russe - Tchaikovsky, Etc / Steinberg, Pittsburgh So
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67249 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Conductor:  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet / Ashkenazy, Royal Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 421715 Release Date: 11/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 53.
    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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  • 54.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 369 Release Date: 09/25/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Elisabeth Höngen
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi
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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    The Glory Of Rostropovich / 8-Disc Set
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000839202 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  Robert Schumann,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Tartini  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Rudolf Serkin,  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Paul Sacher,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Herbert von Karajan,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Musicum,  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    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
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    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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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    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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  • 70.
    Katia & Marielle Labèque - Piano Fantasy
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000122102 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  George Gershwin,  Alexander Scriabin  ... 
    Performer:  Marielle Labèque,  Katia Labèque
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Labèque Sisters,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 71.
    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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  • 72.
    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: $12.99
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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    Essential Tchaikovsky - 22 Of His Greatest Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470463 Release Date: 03/12/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Akiko Suwanai,  Phillip Moll,  Arthur Grumiaux,  István Hajdu  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Charles Dutoit,  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 75.
    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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