Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky


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 [blu-ray]
Release Date: 06/30/2015   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7174   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: Rococo Variations

Browse 26-50 of 86 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Greatest Cello Concertos / Truls Mork [9-CD Set]
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 158102 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Iona Brown,  Mariss Jansons,  Paavo Järvi,  Eiji Oue  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Chamber Orchestra,  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 27.
    Elgar: Cello Concerto; Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations / Queyras, Belohlavek
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 902148 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Jean-Guihen Queyras
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 28.
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1938 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Daniil Shafran,  Anton Ginsburg,  Felix Gotlib,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Arvid Yansons,  Neeme Järvi,  Kiril Kondrashin
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  • 29.
    Prokofiev: Sinfonia Concertante; Tchaikovsky: Variations On A Rococo Theme; Andante Cantabile
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 755652 Release Date: 07/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
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  • 30.
    10 Classic Albums / Mischa Maisky [11-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001801402 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Charles Gounod,  George Frideric Handel,  Jean-Baptiste Lully  ... 
    Performer:  Mischa Maisky,  Pavel Gililov,  Daria Hovora,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 31.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 2, Rococo Variations, Andante Cantabile / Elschenbroich, Kitayenko
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 669 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Leonard Elschenbroich
    Conductor:  Dmitri Kitayenko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations; Gloriana Excerpts / Rostropovich, Pears, Britten
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5025 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Peter Pears
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Aldeburgh Festival Chorus
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  • 33.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Rococo Variations
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002013 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
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  • 34.
    Saint-Saens & Tchaikovsky / Gabel, Tetreault, Quebec Symphony
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 29881 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Stéphane Tétreault
    Conductor:  Fabien Gabel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quebec Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1302 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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  • 36.
    Sergei Nakariakov - Trumpet & Orchestra  [6-CD Set]
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 993672 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel,  André Jolivet,  Henri Tomasi  ... 
    Performer:  Sergei Nakariakov
    Conductor:  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Hugh Wolff,  Jörg Faerber,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra,  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra Heilbronn  ... 
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  • 37.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1, Rococo Variations / Eschenbach, Barto, Maslennikov
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5065 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Dmitri Maslennikov,  Tzimon Barto
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
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  • 38.
    Bbc Legends: Rostropovich
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 50052 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  George Hurst,  Sir Colin Davis,  Benjamin Britten,  Yevgeny Svetlanov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  USSR State Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 39.
    Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Bruch / Maxim Rysanov, Muhai Tang, Swedish Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1843 Release Date: 08/23/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Max Bruch
    Performer:  Maxim Rysanov
    Conductor:  Muhai Tang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Chamber Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Bottesini: Double-bass Concertos; Gran Duo Concertante / Zuccarini, Badila
    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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  • 41.
    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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  • 42.
    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
    DVD: $48.99
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  • 43.
    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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  • 44.
    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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  • 45.
    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  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 46.
    Paul Tortelier - The Great EMI Recordings
    Label: Warner 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
    CD: $83.49
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  • 47.
    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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  • 48.
    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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  • 49.
    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
    On sale! $111.98
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  • 50.
    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
    On sale! $13.98
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