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, Grieg: Piano Concertos / Stewart Goodyear
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Steinway & Sons  
Catalog: 30035   Number of Discs: 1
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Opera In English - Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin / Mackerras
Release Date: 04/24/2001   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3042   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Complete Suites / Järvi, Detroit So
Release Date: 11/17/1998   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9676   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: String Quartets / Klenke Quartet
Release Date: 04/13/2010   Label: Berlin Classics  
Catalog: 16502   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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Work: Marche slave, Op. 31

Browse 76-100 of 127 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    International Salute / Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 5132 Release Date: 08/27/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giacomo Meyerbeer  ... 
    Performer:  Jack Wellbaum
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  May Festival Chorus
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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies (Complete)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 087987 Release Date: 05/05/2003   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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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  • 82.
    The Berlin Album / Claudio Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471627 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Hector Berlioz,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Maurizio Pollini,  Martha Argerich,  Evgeni Kissin
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 83.
    Symphonic Spectacular / Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80170 Release Date: 04/23/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  George Enescu,  Johan Halvorsen,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops
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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    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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  • 86.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies, Overtures /Abravanel, Utah
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 3603 Release Date: 10/16/2001   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $23.99
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  • 87.
    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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  • 88.
    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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  • 89.
    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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  • 90.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Marche Slave / Pletnev, Ussr
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 59661 Release Date: 05/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
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  • 91.
    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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  • 92.
    Classics In Motion - Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Et Al
    Label: Legacy   Catalog: CJH024 Release Date: 01/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Wagner,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
    CD: $3.99
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  • 93.
    Famous Marches - Grand March From Aida, Marche Slave, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553596 Release Date: 10/05/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Edvard Grieg,  Eric Coates,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Adrian Leaper,  Peter Breiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava,  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,  Razumovsky Sinfonia  ... 
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  • 94.
    The Best Of Tchaikovsky / Mackerras, Zinman, Slatkin, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80539 Release Date: 06/27/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Horacio Gutierrez
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Erich Kunzel,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 95.
    Classics For Dog Lovers
    Label: Stradivari   Catalog: 9018 Release Date: 03/21/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  George Frideric Handel,  Hector Berlioz,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Dubravka Tomsic
    Conductor:  Barry Faldner,  Anton Nanut
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  • 96.
    Tchaikovsky: Popular Orchestral Works / Mehta, Israel PO, Los Angeles PO
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4666842 Release Date: 02/28/2000  
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 97.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Claudio Abbado, Berlin Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453496 Release Date: 02/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 98.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, The Seasons, Etc /Pletnev, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 61636 Release Date: 02/01/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
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  • 99.
    Greatest Masterpieces Of The Millennium - Tchaikovsky
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 1736 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $3.99
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  • 100.
    Pure Passion / José Carreras
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 27305 Release Date: 10/19/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Paul McCartney,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Roderick Elms,  José Carreras,  Dave Hartley
    Conductor:  Simon Lee
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capital Voices,  London Musicians Orchestra
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