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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: Nutcracker Suite, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty
Release Date: 10/17/1995   Label: Emi Seraphim  
Catalog: 69036   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich: String Quartets / Borodin Quartet
Release Date: 11/18/2008   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2072298   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Baryshnikov, Kirkland, American Ballet Theatre
Release Date: 09/28/2004   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2925   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky, Ellington/Strayhorn: Nutcracker Suites
Release Date: 10/08/2013   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 907493   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: 18 Piano Pieces / Konstantin Shamray
Release Date: 02/28/2012   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572225   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a

Browse 26-50 of 125 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Label: Russian Music Society   Catalog: 5637706765 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yuri Botnari
    CD: $14.99
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  • 27.
    111 - The Collector's Edition 2 [56-CD Set - Limited Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4779142 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Stuart Harling,  Robert Lloyd,  Sherrill Milnes,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Nelson,  Leonard Bernstein,  Jerzy Semkow  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  George Watson's College Boys' Chorus  ... 
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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    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
    On sale! $16.99
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  • 30.
    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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  • 31.
    Label: Ds Classics   Catalog: 37501 Release Date: 09/10/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
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  • 32.
    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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  • 33.
    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
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  • 34.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Romeo & Juliet / Ormandy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 38117 Release Date: 09/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 35.
    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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  • 36.
    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
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  • 37.
    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 National Orchestra
    On sale! $23.98
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  • 38.
    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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  • 39.
    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  ... 
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  • 40.
    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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  • 41.
    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
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  • 42.
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412554 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  John T. Williams
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  • 43.
    Peter Tschaikowsky
    Label: Zyx Records   Catalog: 10055 Release Date: 09/05/2008   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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  • 44.
    Mad About Christmas
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 445766 Release Date: 07/23/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Henry Walford Davies,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Herrick
    Conductor:  Richard Westenburg,  Simon Preston,  Trevor Pinnock,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Sacra,  Westminster Abbey Choir,  English Concert  ... 
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  • 45.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Op. 64, Nutcracker Suite / Norrington, Stuttgart Radio So
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 563590 Release Date: 06/10/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Samuel Friedmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  State Symphony Orchestra of Tatarstan
    CD: $8.99
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  • 46.
    Edition Klavier-festival Ruhr - Transkriptionen & Paraphrasen
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553015 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Strauss,  Sergej Kursanov,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Anthony Paratore,  Joseph Paratore,  Nikolai Tokarew,  Irina Puryshinskaja  ... 
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  • 47.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 12038 Release Date: 04/01/2008   Number of Discs: 88
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  E. Nikolaus von Reznicek,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Karl Leister,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Ernst Haefliger,  Anne-Sophie Mutter  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    On sale! $253.98
    CD: $194.99
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  • 48.
    The Heart Of The Ballet - Tchaikovsky, Etc / Stokowski
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 547 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léo Delibes,  Frédéric Chopin,  Carl Maria von Weber  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Bloom,  John Wummer
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 49.
    Karajan - The Legendary Decca Recordings - Brahms, Adam, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001078802 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Josef Strauss,  Gustav Holst  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $71.98
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  • 50.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker & Swan Lake Suites / Vienna Symphony Orchestra Cello Octet
    Label: Camerata Records   Catalog: 28120 Release Date: 02/19/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Michael Gunther,  Alexandra Mikisch,  Görgy Bognar,  Christoph Stradner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Acht Cellisten
    On sale! $25.98
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