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 / Gergiev, Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 12/18/2012   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4786   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Seasons / Pavel Kolesnikov
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68028   Number of Discs: 1
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Critics' Choice - Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker; Offenbach: Le Papillon / Bonynge
Release Date:    Label: Decca  
Catalog: 4767220   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Iolanta / Valery Gergiev, Et Al
Release Date: 03/26/1996   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 442796   Number of Discs: 2
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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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Work: Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a

Browse 51-75 of 124 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Toscanini Collection Vol 18 - Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60297 Release Date: 06/11/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    Prokofiev: Symphonies No 1 & 7, Etc / Malko, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics For Pleasure   Catalog: 82229 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Nicolai Malko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 54.
    The Glory Of Rostropovich / 8-Disc Set
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000839202 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Martha Argerich,  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Leonard Bernstein,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Emerson String Quartet  ... 
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  • 55.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Etc / Beecham
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 80015 Release Date: 03/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 56.
    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
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  • 57.
    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
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  • 58.
    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
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  • 59.
    Tchaikovsky: 6 Symphonies, Etc / Abbado, Chicago So, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88807 Release Date: 11/28/2006   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 60.
    Ultimate Classics - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000766302 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Jeremiah Clarke,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
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  • 61.
    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
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  • 62.
    Divertissement
    Label: Brass Classics   Catalog: 13004 Release Date: 07/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Moritz Moszkowski  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Archibald,  Juliet Edwards
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  • 63.
    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
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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    The Karajan Collection: Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76899 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Radiance - Favorite Holiday Classics
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17558 Release Date: 09/20/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Charles Gounod,  Emil Waldteufel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
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  • 67.
    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  ... 
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  • 68.
    Children's Games
    Label: Asv   Catalog: 3046 Release Date: 08/23/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Marisa Robles,  Darius Milhaud,  Walter Mourant,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Hyde-Smith,  Emma Johnson,  Gordon Back,  George MacDonald
    Conductor:  Steuart Bedford,  Enrique Bátiz,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Marisa Robles Harp Ensemble,  Northern Sinfonia,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 69.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Bátiz, Royal Po
    Label: Resonance   Catalog: 3047 Release Date: 06/21/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Barry Griffiths,  François Rive
    Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 70.
    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"
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  • 71.
    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  ... 
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  • 72.
    Label: United Multimedia   Catalog: 6518 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    CD: $4.99
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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
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  • 75.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonie No 4, Etc / Immerseel, Anima Eterna
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 30102 Release Date: 09/09/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Jos van Immerseel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Anima Eterna Orchestra
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