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 Edition
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94650   Number of Discs: 55
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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: The Oprichnik / Rozhdestvensky
Release Date: 10/30/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94390   Number of Discs: 3
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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: Cherevichki / Rozhdesvensky, Teatro Lirico Di Cagliari
Release Date: 07/31/2012   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94375   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Romeo and Juliet Overture

Browse 201-218 of 218 Available Recordings
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  • 201.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Etc / Dorati, London So
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434353 Release Date: 05/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 202.
    Tchaikovsky: Fantasias After Shakespeare / Leaper, Wit
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553017 Release Date: 03/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper,  Antoni Wit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Katowice Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 203.
    Willem Mengelberg Conducts Tchaikovsky
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 809 Release Date: 01/31/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 204.
    Karajan Gold - Tchaikovsky: Romeo And Juliet, Nutcracker
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439021 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 205.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien, Etc / Dorati
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 443003 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.,  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
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  • 206.
    Tchaikovsky: Tone Poems / Markevitch, Inbal, Haitink
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 442586 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch,  Eliahu Inbal,  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 207.
    Romantic Favorites - Tchaikovsky, Barber, Puccini, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 57247 Release Date: 05/31/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Nelly Lee
    Conductor:  Vato Kahi,  Franco Mannino,  Arnold Kaz,  Jahni Mardjani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Georgian Festival Orchestra,  Academic Symphony Orchestra St. Petersburg,  Novosibirsk Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
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  • 208.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Romeo And Juliet
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 64292 Release Date: 05/31/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vato Kahi,  Jahni Mardjani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Georgian Festival Orchestra
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  • 209.
    Tchaikovsky - The Greatest Hits
    Label: Reference Gold   Catalog: 3605 Release Date: 04/13/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Hans Lang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Festival Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 210.
    Tchaikovsky: Tchaikovsky Festival
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550500 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 211.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 2, Romeo & Juliet / Masur, Leipzig
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 44943 Release Date: 05/01/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 212.
    Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies, Etc / Maazel, Vienna Phil
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430787 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 213.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc / Abbado, Chicago So
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47179 Release Date: 10/18/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 214.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Romeo & Juliet, Etc / Doráti
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 417742 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.
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  • 215.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Etc / Abbado, Chicago So
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 44911 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 216.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Etc / Zinman, Baltimore So
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80228 Release Date: 07/24/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 217.
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 0502 Release Date: 08/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leopold Stokowski,  Stephen Foster,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
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