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 51-75 of 106 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Greatest Works - Tchaikovsky / Masur, Sanderling, Kogan, Rogner, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 184352 Release Date: 08/12/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Jürnjakob Timm,  Peter Rösel
    Conductor:  Heinz Rögner,  Kurt Masur,  Pavel Kogan,  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Hannover Radio Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 52.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 3, Etc / Friedmann, Russian Po
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 433280 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Kirill Rodin
    Conductor:  Samuel Friedmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Cello - Greatest Works
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1284 Release Date: 05/06/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Claude Debussy,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
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  • 54.
    Tchaikovsky, Miaskovsky, Shostakovich / Julian Lloyd Webber
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 434106 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolay Myaskovsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber
    Conductor:  Maxim Shostakovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Rostropovich Plays Cello Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 447036 Release Date: 03/25/2008   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Marcel Landowski,  Rodion Shchedrin,  Renaud Gagneux,  Alun Hoddinott  ... 
    Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Hugh Seenan,  Layton James  ... 
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Seiji Ozawa,  Kent Nagano,  Cristobal Halffter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 56.
    Ofra Harnoy Collection Volume 3 - Tchaikovsky, Saint-saëns
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 68373 Release Date: 03/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Camille Saint-Saëns
    Performer:  Ofra Harnoy,  Michael Dussek,  Helena Bowkun
    Conductor:  Paul Freeman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Victoria Symphony Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Herbert von Karajan - Master Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001050702 Release Date: 02/12/2008   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Pietro Mascagni,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari,  Francesco Cilča  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Michel Schwalbé,  Wolfgang Meyer,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein
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  • 58.
    Vladimir Orloff - Vol 2: Boccherini, Valentini, Etc
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7896 Release Date: 02/12/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Orloff
    Conductor:  Sergiu Comissiona
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lausanne Chamber Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Le Violoncelle Du Siecle
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56388 Release Date: 01/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Igor Stravinsky,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vasso Devetsi,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mstislav Rostropovich
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  • 60.
    Les Introuvables de Pierre Fournier
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 569708 Release Date: 01/13/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Pierre Fournier,  Babeth Léonet,  Artur Schnabel,  Jean Hubeau  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Eugčne Bigot
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  • 61.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1, Etc / Karajan, Richter
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001038802 Release Date: 01/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Music For Piano And Orchestra, Etc / Donohoe
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 00962 Release Date: 10/02/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Nigel Kennedy,  Peter Donohoe,  Paul Tortelier
    Conductor:  Okko Kamu,  Rudolf Barshai,  Yan Pascal Tortelier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Northern Sinfonia
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  • 63.
    Ultimate Cello Classics - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000972402 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Tomaso Albinoni,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Lloyd Webber,  Samuel Sanders,  Heinrich Schiff,  John Birch  ... 
    Conductor:  Václav Neumann,  Nicholas Cleobury,  Maxim Shostakovich,  Yan Pascal Tortelier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Elgar: Cello Concerto;  Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 431685 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mischa Maisky
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 7, Rococo Variations / Rose, Ormandy
    Label: Cbs Masterworks Portrait   Catalog: 46453 Release Date: 08/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Leonard Rose
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Tchaikovsky Cycle Vol 1 - Symphony No 1, Rococo Variations
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102121 Release Date: 06/26/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Antonio Meneses
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $19.99
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  • 67.
    Artist Portrait - Mstislav Rostropovich
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 49706 Release Date: 06/19/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Rheinberger,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Herbert Tachezi,  Hugh Wolff,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 68.
    Anthology Of The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Vol 4 1970-80
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 6004 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  André Caplet,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Anton Bruckner,  Maarten Bon  ... 
    Performer:  Jean Decroos,  Maurice André,  Vera Badings,  Werner Herbers  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean Fournet,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Marinus Choir,  NCRV Vocal Ensemble  ... 
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  • 69.
    Davidoff: Cello Concertos No 1 & 2 / Yang, Mikkelsen, Et Al
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777263 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karl Davidoff,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Wenn-Sinn Yang
    Conductor:  Terje Mikkelsen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Latvian National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 70.
    The Glory Of Rostropovich / 8-Disc Set
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000839202 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Martha Argerich,  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Leonard Bernstein,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Emerson String Quartet  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 71.
    Legendary Treasures - Brahms, Bloch, Tchaikovsky / Menuhin
    Label: Doremi Records   Catalog: 7844 Release Date: 10/10/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Leslie Parnas,  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Pablo Casals,  Gervase de Peyer,  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pablo Casals Orchestra,  London Mozart Players,  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Dvorak: Cello Concerto;  Tchaikovsky / Mork, Jansons, Et Al
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 63287 Release Date: 09/12/2006   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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  • 73.
    Perspectives - János Starker
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442845 Release Date: 09/12/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Leó Weiner,  Bohuslav Martinu  ... 
    Performer:  János Starker,  György Sebok,  Stephen Swedish
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Tchaikovsky For Cello / Maintz, Geringas, Lithuanian Co
    Label: Arte Nova   Catalog: 807910 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anatoly Brandukov,  Karl Davidoff,  Wilhelm Karl Fitzenhagen,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Jens-Peter Maintz
    Conductor:  David Geringas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 75.
    Lalo, St.-saëns, Et Al: Cello Concertos / Erling Bengtsson
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 422 Release Date: 02/03/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edouard Lalo,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Erling Blöndal Bengtsson
    Conductor:  Ilya Stupel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artur Rubinstein State Philharmonic Orchestra
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