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: None but the Lonely Heart - Selected Romances / Nadia Krasteva
Release Date: 01/08/2016   Label: Gramola  
Catalog: 99043   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Etc / Fischer, Et Al
Release Date: 02/08/2005   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 21704   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov, Tchaikovsky: Russian Songs / Yuri Gorodetski, Tatiana Loisha
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Atma Classique  
Catalog: 22690   Number of Discs: 1
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Bruch: Scottish Fantasy; Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto / Feng, Yang, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester
Release Date: 03/11/2014   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 34913   Number of Discs: 1
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Milestones - 6 Cello Concertos / Peter Wispelwey, Et Al
Release Date: 09/11/2001   Label: Channel Classics  
Catalog: 14982   Number of Discs: 4
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Work: Romeo and Juliet Overture

Browse 1-25 of 171 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Igor Markevitch: The Complete Hmv Recordings
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 552546 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Richard Strauss,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Jacques Neilz,  Denyse Gouarne,  Fernand Dufrene,  Henri Bronschwak  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    CD: $58.49
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  • 2.
    Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies And Manfred
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186489 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $68.99
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  • 3.
    Tchaikovsky: Masterworks Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002362102 Release Date: 09/04/2015   Number of Discs: 27
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Rosemarie Lang,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Ruthid Engert-Ely,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Seiji Ozawa,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden,  Tchaikovsky Choir,  French National Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $76.49
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  • 4.
    Itzhak Perlman 40th Anniversary [4 DVDs]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2061328 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Zuill Bailey,  Navah Perlman,  Giora Schmidt  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Itzhak Perlman,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $54.49
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  • 5.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5… / Thomas, San Francisco
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 0062 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Michael T. Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Tchaikovsky Edition / Berlin Philharmonic [3-DVD Set]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2060968 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Simon Rattle,  Mariss Jansons,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $64.49
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  • 7.
    Lorin Maazel - The Complete Early Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002251502 Release Date: 02/17/2015   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Igor Stravinsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Jeanine Collard,  Jane Berbié,  Sylvaine Gilma,  Colette Herzog  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $82.99
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  • 8.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture; Capriccio Italien; Romeo And Juliet; Etc.
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 121167 Release Date: 02/03/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Philippe Entremont
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    CD: $29.99
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  • 9.
    Tchaikovsky: Marche Slave; Romeo And Juliet; 1812 Overture; Theme And Variations Suite No. 3; Sleeping Beauty Waltz
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2409 Release Date: 02/03/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Manoug Parikian
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent
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  • 10.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Domenico Bartolucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $235.99
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  • 11.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    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  ... 
    CD: $162.49
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  • 13.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Riccardo Muti
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 627825 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Claudio Abbado Conducts Tchaikovsky
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 836722 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    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,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Claudio Abbado - The Complete RCA & Sony Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304505 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Murray Perahia,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Midori  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 17.
    Waldbuhne / Fleming, Bronfman, Chailly, Marin, Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 59988 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Igor Stravinsky,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman,  Renée Fleming
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Ion Marin,  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 18.
    Waldbuhne / Fleming, Bronfman, Chailly, Marin, Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 59984 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Igor Stravinsky,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman,  Renée Fleming
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Ion Marin,  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $64.49
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  • 19.
    Rimsky-korsakov: Scheherazade; Tchaikovsky: Romeo And Juliet
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2403 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 20.
    Transcriptions & Paraphrases For Piano
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38148 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Anatole Liadov
    Performer:  Florian Noack
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 21.
    Karajan: Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, R. Strauss, Opera Arias - 1946-1949
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633618 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Leopold Wlach,  Julius Patzak,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Elisabeth Höngen  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Friends of Music Chorus
    CD: $69.99
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  • 22.
    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  ... 
    CD: $113.49
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    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  ... 
    CD: $39.99
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  • 25.
    Music For Pleasure [wienerworld]
    Label: Wienerworld   Catalog: 1367 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Dieter Goldmann,  Abbey Simon,  Vladimir Horowitz,  Michael Conn  ... 
    Conductor:  Francesco Macci,  Alberto Lizzio,  Leopold Stokowski,  Anton Nanut  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hyacinthe Eléonore Klosé
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