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, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Benedetti, Hrusa, Czech Philharmonic
Release Date: 02/22/2011   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001527102   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Muti, Philharmonia
Release Date: 09/02/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 627825   Number of Discs: 5
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Songs By Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Etc / Ewa Podles, Garrick Ohlsson
Release Date: 02/24/2009   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 27   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 1-3 / Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 10/09/2012   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 710   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Sacred Choral Music / Ahmann, NDR Chor
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Carus  
Catalog: 83338   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a

Browse 26-50 of 109 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Rca Living Stereo Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300350 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Byron Janis,  Gary Graffman,  Vladimir Horowitz  ... 
    Conductor:  Josef Krips,  Fritz Reiner,  Pierre Monteux,  Charles Munch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 27.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Karajan, Vienna [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002009946 Release Date: 03/18/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 28.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $38.98
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  • 29.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite; Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals - Arrangements for Organ 4-hands
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94881 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ralf Bolting
    Performer:  Emanuele Cardi,  Gianfranco Nicoletti
    CD: $8.99
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  • 30.
    Tchaikovsky, Ellington/Strayhorn: Nutcracker Suites
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907493 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Wayne Goodman,  Bob Millikan,  Bill Easley,  Victor Lewis  ... 
    Conductor:  Steven Richman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Harmonie Ensemble New York
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  • 31.
    Hans Knappertsbusch Conducts The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra: Berlioz, Schubert, Strauss
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2386 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Otto Nicolai,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Karel Komzak II  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001707502 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Josef Sivo,  Emanuel Brabec
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $6.99
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  • 33.
    Hans Knappertsbusch - Complete Concert, Berlin, 02.02.1950
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 120 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Karel Komzak II  ... 
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  • 34.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Nutcracker Suite / Rozhdestvensky, Kogan
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1106 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Pavel Kogan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR Ministry of Culture State Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Label: Russian Music Society   Catalog: 5637706765 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yuri Botnari
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  • 36.
    Hans Knappertsbusch & The Berlin Philharmonic - Complete RIAS Recordings
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 21405 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Nutcracker Suite / Modern Mandolin Quartet
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92121 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Miguel Llobet,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Modern Mandolin Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 38.
    Martha Argerich - The Collection 3 - Chamber Ensembles
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001476502 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Nelson Freire,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Gidon Kremer  ... 
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  • 39.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 37501 Release Date: 09/10/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 40.
    Radetzky March - Orchestral Favourites / Hans Knappertsbusch
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 440624 Release Date: 09/03/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Karel Komzak II,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Carl Michael Ziehrer  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf / Dudley Moore, John Williams, Boston Pops
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412556 Release Date: 06/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Dudley Moore
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 42.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Romeo & Juliet / Ormandy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38117 Release Date: 09/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Ultimate Russian Classics [5-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001313502 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Ernest Ansermet,  Riccardo Muti,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 44.
    Waldbuhne Concert - Russian Night
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4508 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Lincke,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Aram Khachaturian,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $19.99
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  • 45.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Sleeping Beauty / Anatole Fistoulari
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 7041 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Anatole Fistoulari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Conservatoire Orchestra,  Paris National Orchestra
    On sale! $23.98
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  • 46.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Op. 64, Nutcracker Suite / Norrington, Stuttgart Radio So
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 93254 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 47.
    The Ultimate Ballet Album
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570011-12 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Adolphe Adam,  Claude Debussy,  Léo Delibes,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Jan Van Reeth,  Josef Bogacz
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd,  Alexander Rahbari,  Michael Halász,  Andrei Anikhanov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava,  Belgian Radio And Television Philharmonic Orchestra,  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 48.
    A Fairy Fantasy - Music And Verse
    Label: Gift Of Music   Catalog: 211 Release Date: 01/01/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ottorino Respighi,  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Martin Souter
    Conductor:  Don Jackson,  Christian Rainer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 49.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite;  Rachmaninov / Argerich
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 410616 Release Date: 11/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Nicolas Economou
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 50.
    Peter Tschaikowsky
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10055 Release Date: 09/05/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    CD: $12.99
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