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: Ballet Music; Glazunov: Les Sylphides / Lenárd, Yablonsky, Mogrelia
Release Date: 03/31/2009   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8507009   Number of Discs: 7
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Work: Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a

Browse 51-75 of 110 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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  ... 
    CD: $29.99
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  • 53.
    Karajan - Complete Emi Recordings 1946-84 Vol 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Warner 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
    CD: $194.99
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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    Karajan - The Legendary Decca Recordings - Brahms, Adam, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001078802 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $71.98
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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    Tchaikovsky:  Ballet Suites - Transcriptions / Aurora Duo
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570418 Release Date: 01/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Alina Luschtschizkaja,  Julia Severus
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aurora Duo
    On sale! $12.99
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  • 58.
    Romantic Journey / London Brass
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 46007 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Schubert,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Brass
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  • 59.
    Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Nutcracker Suite / Désormičre, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66828 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Roger Desormičre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 60.
    Ultimate Ballet - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000972302 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Frédéric Chopin,  Charles Gounod,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Antal Doráti,  Ernest Ansermet,  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 61.
    In Memory Of Arturo Toscanini / Munch, Walter, Monteux
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1201 Release Date: 06/05/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Claude Debussy,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Bruno Walter,  Charles Munch,  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Symphony of the Air
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  • 62.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 18 - Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60297 Release Date: 06/04/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    The Glory Of Rostropovich / 8-Disc Set
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000839202 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  Robert Schumann,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Tartini  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Rudolf Serkin,  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Paul Sacher,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Herbert von Karajan,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Musicum,  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 64.
    Brain In The Orchestra Vol 2 - Tchaikovsky / Karajan, Et Al
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 7029 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Dennis Brain
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 65.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Et Al / Rögner, Berlin Rso
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8566 Release Date: 01/02/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 66.
    WASBE 2007 Killarney, Ireland / University of Cincinnati Chamber Players, USA
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 7212 Release Date: 01/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Bird,  George Enescu,  Franz Krommer,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Rodney Winther
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Cincinnati Chamber Players
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 67.
    Oskar Fried Conducts Tchaikovsky And Delibes
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90326 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Léo Delibes
    Conductor:  Oscar Fried
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  British Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 68.
    Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies, Etc / Mehta, Lapo
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000623502 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $39.98
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  • 69.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite;  R Strauss, Weber
    Label: Vox Allegretto   Catalog: 8049 Release Date: 03/22/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Louis de Froment,  Heinrich Hollreiser,  Jonel Perlea
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Luxembourg Radio/Television Symphony Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Live From The Lugano Festival - Martha Argerich And Friends
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76871 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Maxim Vengerov,  Martha Argerich,  Gautier Capuçon,  Yefim Bronfman  ... 
    On sale! $33.99
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  • 71.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5 / Peter Maag, Et Al
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 43037 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Coro di voci bianche "Magnificat"
    On sale! $16.98
    CD: $14.99
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  • 72.
    The Most Relaxing Holiday Classics In The Universe
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17428 Release Date: 09/07/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 73.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Capriccio Italien, Etc / Lazarev, Bolshoi
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4608222 Release Date: 11/10/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Alexander Lazarev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 74.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Seiji Ozawa, Boston So
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000130602 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 75.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Nutcracker Suite / Ozawa
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186107 Release Date: 03/25/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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