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; Schoenberg / Barenboim, West-Eastern Divan
Release Date: 06/07/2011   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001560702   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: Swan Lake / Jarvi, Bergen
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5124   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty / Jarvi, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/13/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5113   Number of Discs: 2
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Historical - Tchaikovsky: Complete String Quartets / Borodin
Release Date: 01/23/2001   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9871   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Capriccio Italien

Browse 76-100 of 127 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    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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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    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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  • 91.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Paul Kletzki
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75468 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Hugh Bean
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  French National Radio Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 92.
    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  ... 
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  • 93.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 1 - 3, Capriccio Italien, Marche Slave
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459518 Release Date: 01/02/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 94.
    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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  • 95.
    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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  • 96.
    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
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  • 97.
    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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  • 98.
    Karajan Conducts Tchaikovsky / Ferras, Berlin Po, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463774 Release Date: 03/13/2001   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Christian Ferras,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Don Kossack Choir
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  • 99.
    Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherezade; Tchaikovsky / Karajan
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 463614 Release Date: 06/13/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Don Kossack Choir
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  • 100.
    Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien, Etc / Mata, Dallas Symphony
    Label: Rca Red Seal Hp   Catalog: 63586 Release Date: 06/06/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  George Enescu,  Paul Dukas,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Eduardo Mata
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dallas Symphony Orchestra
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