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, Grieg: Piano Concertos / Stewart Goodyear
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Steinway & Sons  
Catalog: 30035   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty / Jarvi, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/13/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5113   Number of Discs: 2
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Opera In English - Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin / Mackerras
Release Date: 04/24/2001   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 3042   Number of Discs: 2
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Historical - Tchaikovsky: Complete String Quartets / Borodin
Release Date: 01/23/2001   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9871   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Complete Suites / Järvi, Detroit So
Release Date: 11/17/1998   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9676   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Rococo Variations

Browse 26-50 of 106 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 8020 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Bottesini,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ovidiu Badila,  Keng Yuen Tseng
    Conductor:  Marco Zuccarini
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  • 27.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Works For Cello And Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94188 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Alexander Rudin
    Conductor:  Nikolai Alexeev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Viva Instrumental Ensemble
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  • 28.
    Sol Gabetta Plays Tchaikovsky, Saint-saens & Ginastera
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 6869002 Release Date: 03/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Alberto Ginastera,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sol Gabetta
    Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
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  • 29.
    Maria Kliegel - Cello Master Class
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110280 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Maria Kliegel
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  • 30.
    Dvorak: Cello Concerto; Tchaikovsky: Rococo  Variations / Mork
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 28623 Release Date: 10/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Tchaikovsky: Variations On A Rococo Theme; Souvenir De Florence; The Tempest
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1348 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Yevgeny Svetlanov
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  • 32.
    Pierre Fournier - The Aristocrat Of Cellists
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 29539 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Maurice Ravel,  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Ernest Lush,  Tasso Janopoulo,  Gerald Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Eugène Bigot,  Walter Susskind,  Alceo Galliera  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Saint-saens, Lalo: Cello Concertos; Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7714332 Release Date: 07/19/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Edouard Lalo,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Dvorak: Cello Concerto / Harrell, Ashkenazy, Philharmonia
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 425020 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Lynn Harrell
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Best Tchaikovsky 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56339 Release Date: 05/04/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Charles Abramovic,  Sarah Chang,  Ayako Uehara,  Olaf Maninger  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons,  Seiji Ozawa,  Lovro von Matacic,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
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  • 36.
    Nicolas Altstaedt Plays Schumann Tchaikovsky Gulda
    Label: Claves   Catalog: 2901 Release Date: 03/09/2010  
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Friedrich Gulda
    Performer:  Nicolas Altstaedt
    Conductor:  Alexander Joel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Paul Tortelier - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 88627 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  Jacques Manzone,  Maud Tortelier
    Conductor:  Jörg Faerber,  Sir Philip Ledger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn,  London Mozart Players
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  • 38.
    Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations; Saint-saens: Cello Concerto No. 1; Offenbach: Cello Concerto
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 6607 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ofra Harnoy
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Paul Freeman
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  • 39.
    Essential Cello
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 88582 Release Date: 02/23/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Luigi Boccherini  ... 
    Performer:  Han-Na Chang,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Steven Isserlis,  Maggie Cole  ... 
    Conductor:  Christopher Warren-Green,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Juha Kangas,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra members
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  • 40.
    Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations; Prokofiev: Sinfonia Concertante / Capucon
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 94486 Release Date: 02/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Gautier Capuçon
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Brahms, Kodaly, Debussy, Tchaikovksy / Fournier, Holetschek
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 798091 Release Date: 11/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Zoltán Kodály,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Franz Holetschek
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  • 42.
    Yo-Yo Ma - 30 Years Outside the Box
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 752307 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 90
    Composer:  Sandeep Das,  Traditional,  Kayhan Kalhor,  Zhou Long  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Gramley,  Kim Dong-Won,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Mark Suter  ... 
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth-Bedoya,  John Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Qi Lin  ... 
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  • 43.
    111 Years Of Deutsche Grammophon [55-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001341002 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Franz Schubert,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman,  Fritz Wunderlich,  Hubert Giesen,  Helmut Walcha  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Daniele Callegari,  Herbert von Karajan,  Karl Richter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Verdi Grand Symphonic Orchestra Milan,  Verdi Chorus Milan  ... 
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  • 44.
    1967 Carnegie Hall Marathon / Rostropovich, Rozhdestvensky, Et Al
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7974 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Walter Piston,  Boris Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Glynne Adams,  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Lukas Foss
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  • 45.
    Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No 1; Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations / Cook
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1289 Release Date: 06/09/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Kim Cook
    Conductor:  Eduard Serov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Volgograd Symphony Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Suite, Rococco Variations, Symphony No 6 / Ansermet
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4800563 Release Date: 04/10/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Maurice Gendron
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations / Ofra Harnoy
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 60758 Release Date: 03/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ofra Harnoy
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    Russian Masterpieces For Cello & Orchestra / Zuill Bailey
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80724 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Zuill Bailey
    Conductor:  Martin West
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
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  • 49.
    The Tchaikovsky Cycle
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102119 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Victor Tretiakov,  Alexander Nenadovsky,  Lidia Chernikh  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54890 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Nigel Kennedy,  Paul Tortelier
    Conductor:  Okko Kamu,  Yan Pascal Tortelier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Northern Sinfonia
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