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: Manfred Symphony, The Voyevoda / Petrenko
Release Date: 10/28/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8570568   Number of Discs: 1
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Tianwa Yang: Live Concert in St Petersburg
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 2110283   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture & Capriccio italien / Kunzel, Cincinatti Symphony [Vinyl]
Release Date: 09/14/2018   Label: Telarc  
Catalog: TEL00009   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Iolanta - Stravinsky: Persephone / Currentzis, Teatro Real
Release Date: 08/10/2018   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 26482  
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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Bolshoi Ballet
Release Date: 11/30/1999   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 62   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Rococo Variations

Browse 26-50 of 105 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Tchaikovsky: Masterworks Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002362102 Release Date: 09/04/2015   Number of Discs: 27
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Rosemarie Lang,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Ruthid Engert-Ely,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Seiji Ozawa,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Dresden,  Tchaikovsky Choir,  French National Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 27.
    From The History Of The Tchaikovsky Competition Phonodocuments
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002349 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Naum Shtarkman,  Stefan Ruha,  Victoria Stefanescu,  Lev Vlasenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Boris Khaikin,  Neeme Järvi,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Fuat Mansurov  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 28.
    Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto; Serenade For Strings; Cello Encores
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1265 Release Date: 07/24/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves
    CD: $12.99
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  • 29.
    Glazunov: Concerto Ballata; Prokofiev: Concertino; Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations / Walton
    Label: Signum Classics   Catalog: 407 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Jamie Walton
    Conductor:  Okko Kamu
    CD: $17.99
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  • 30.
    Seiji Ozawa: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564613951 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin,  Béla Bartók,  Zoltán Kodály  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Michel Béroff,  Masuko Ushioda  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Orchestra,  Japan Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 31.
    Rococo / Pieter Wispelwey
    Label: Evil Penguin Records   Catalog: 17 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Pieter Wispelwey
    Conductor:  Jonathan Morton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musikkollegium Winterthur
    CD: $17.99
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  • 32.
    The Romantic Cello
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94934 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Robert Schumann,  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Zara Nelsova,  Julius Berger,  Timora Rosler,  Klára Würtz  ... 
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Florian Merz,  Dwight Bennett
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  South Westphalia Philharmonic,  Zilina State Chamber Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations  / Vardai / Boganyi, Pannon Philharmonic
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94876 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  István Várdai
    Conductor:  Tibor Bogányi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 34.
    Lorin Maazel: The Cleveland Years - Complete Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002217602 Release Date: 11/10/2014   Number of Discs: 19
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Performer:  Kenneth Riegel,  Lynn Harrell,  Pascal Rogé,  Ivan Davis
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Detroit Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $117.99
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  • 35.
    Yo-Yo Ma Plays Great Cello Masterworks
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 438572 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Edouard Lalo,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Margaret Faultless,  Emanuel Ax
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  André Previn,  José L. Garcia,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $23.99
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  • 36.
    Paul Tortelier - The Complete Musician
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4570 Release Date: 06/17/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier
    Conductor:  Edmond de Stoutz,  Armin Jordan,  Albert Kaiser,  Daniel Schweizer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Collegium Musicum Basel  ... 
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  • 37.
    Janos Starker - The Mercury Living Presence Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002065602 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Arcangelo Corelli,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Valentini  ... 
    Performer:  János Starker,  György Sebok,  Stephen Swedish
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $64.49
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  • 38.
    Tchaikovsky: String Concertos
    Label: Intergroove   Catalog: 9 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Lyudmila Malian,  Sergei Roldugin
    Conductor:  Stanislav Gorkovenko
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  • 39.
    Mstislav Rostropovich  - Three Classic Albums
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999802 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Luigi Boccherini,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Paul Sacher,  Herbert von Karajan,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Collegium Musicum,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $21.99
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  • 40.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Romeo & Juliet, Rococo Variations / Nakariakov, Temirkanov
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 88 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sergei Nakariakov
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 41.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 42.
    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:  Jiří Bělohlávek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 43.
    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  ... 
    On sale! $49.98
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  • 44.
    Dvorak: Cello Concerto; Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 352972 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Terje Tonnesen,  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    CD: $7.99
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  • 45.
    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
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 46.
    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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  • 47.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 48.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 49.
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1302 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    CD: $14.99
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  • 50.
    The Very Best Of Paul Tortelier
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 21730 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Tortelier,  Maria de La Pau,  Max Rostal,  Shuku Iwasaki  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Tortelier,  Jörg Faerber,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Adrian Boult  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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