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, Liszt: Piano Concertos / Alice Sara Ott
Release Date: 10/25/2010   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001477802   Number of Discs: 1
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Leonard Slatkin Conducts Tchaikovsky Ballets
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 1920082   Number of Discs: 6
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Claudio Abbado Conducts Tchaikovsky
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Sony (Nax615)  
Catalog: 836722   Number of Discs: 6
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Tchaikovsky: Yolanta / Rostropovich, Vichnievskaia
Release Date: 05/1993   Label: Erato Libretto  
Catalog: 45973   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony / Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186387   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a

Browse 76-100 of 134 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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
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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    The Sleeping Beauty: Russian Ballet Suites For Piano
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4761601 Release Date: 06/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Alexei Volodin
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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    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
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  • 86.
    Scriabin, Prokofiev, Et Al: Piano Works / Simon Trpceski
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 75202 Release Date: 10/01/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Simon Trpceski
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  • 87.
    Symphohmania - Mendelssohn, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Et Al /Hohman
    Label: Pro Organo   Catalog: 7077 Release Date: 05/28/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Victor Herbert,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Frederick Hohman
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  • 88.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcraker;  Rimsky-korsakov: Christmas Eve, Etc
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8555342 Release Date: 07/17/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Prunella Scales
    Conductor:  Igor Golovchin,  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 89.
    Eloquence - Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Bonynge, Mehta
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467403 Release Date: 06/12/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Uri Pianka,  Michael Haran
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition;  Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite / Vakhtang Jordania, Et Al
    Label: Angelok   Catalog: 9902 Release Date: 04/24/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Vakhtang Jordania
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Federation State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Karajan Conducts Tchaikovsky / Ferras, Berlin Po, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463774 Release Date: 03/13/2001   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Christian Ferras,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Don Kossack Choir
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  • 92.
    A Night At The Ballet
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 215005 Release Date: 01/16/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Ballet Favourites - Nutcracker, Giselle, Sylvia / Mogrelia
    Label: Amadis   Catalog: 7110 Release Date: 10/07/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Adolphe Adam,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Andrew Mogrelia
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Cassovia
    CD: $3.99
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  • 94.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5 & 6, Etc  / Bernstein, Et Al
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469214 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 95.
    Immortal Toscanini Vol 8 - Orchestral Showpieces
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 59484 Release Date: 11/09/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Jean Sibelius,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 96.
    The Greatest Holiday Classics
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 164 Release Date: 09/28/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
    CD: $3.99
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  • 97.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Karajan, Wiener Po
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 466379 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 98.
    Bernstein Century - Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite, Etc
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 63162 Release Date: 11/24/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 99.
    The Tchaikovsky Album / Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 455810 Release Date: 06/09/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 100.
    Russian Music For Two Pianos / Margarita And Olga Malinova
    Label: Koch International Classics   Catalog: 7172 Release Date: 01/30/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Aram Khachaturian
    Performer:  Olga Malinova,  Margarita Malinova
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malinova Sisters Piano Duo
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