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: Symphony No. 6 - Dvorak: Rusalka Fantasy / Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 720   Number of Discs: 1
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Suggestions - Grieg, Nielsen, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky / GliArchi Ensemble
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Stradivarius  
Catalog: 33977   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty / Lezhnina, Ruzimatov, Kirov Ballet
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 100313   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake / Gruzin, Royal Covent Garden Ballet & Orchestra
Release Date: 06/30/2015   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1181   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom - Bortnyansky: Choir Concerto XXXII / Polyansky
Release Date: 06/03/2016   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 1327   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a

Browse 76-100 of 109 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    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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  • 77.
    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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  • 78.
    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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  • 79.
    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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  • 80.
    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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  • 81.
    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
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  • 82.
    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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  • 83.
    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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  • 84.
    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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  • 85.
    Stokowski - Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky / Philadelphia
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 521 Release Date: 01/27/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov,  Alexander Glazunov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 86.
    Phase 4 Stereo - The Blue Danube / Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 455154 Release Date: 11/11/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops
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  • 87.
    Prokofiev:
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1107 Release Date: 10/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Rostropovich, Berlin PO
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 449726 Release Date: 03/11/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Eberhard Finke,  Leon Spierer
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 89.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Alexander Vedernikov, Et Al
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47372 Release Date: 12/17/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Alexander Vedernikov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 90.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto 1, Etc / Argerich, Abbado
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 449816 Release Date: 10/15/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Nicolas Economou
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty Excerpts
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8553271 Release Date: 11/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Ondrej Lenárd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  Slovak State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 92.
    An Evening With The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 68860 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Emil Waldteufel  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Rabin,  Leonard Pennario
    Conductor:  Felix Slatkin,  Carmen Dragon,  Miklós Rózsa,  Earl Bernard Murray  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 69036 Release Date: 10/17/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Joseph Levine,  Felix Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ballet Theatre Orchestra,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $3.99
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  • 94.
    Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty / Dutoit
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443555 Release Date: 11/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra
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  • 95.
    Karajan Gold - Tchaikovsky: Romeo And Juliet, Nutcracker
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 439021 Release Date: 10/11/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 96.
    For Children / Dag Achatz
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 158 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Dag Achatz
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  • 97.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Levine, Wiener Philharmoniker
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437806 Release Date: 09/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 98.
    Concert Favorites / Sir Adrian Boult
    Label: Chesky Records   Catalog: 53 Release Date: 06/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Liszt,  Arthur Sullivan,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra
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  • 99.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites: Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Etc
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 57241 Release Date: 05/31/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Alexander Titov,  Stanislav Gorkovenko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmony Orchestra,  Russian Radio/TV Orchestra of St. Petersburg
    CD: $4.99
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  • 100.
    Tchaikovsky - The Greatest Hits
    Label: Reference Gold   Catalog: 3605 Release Date: 04/13/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Hans Lang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Festival Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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