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, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Benedetti, Hrusa, Czech Philharmonic
Release Date: 02/22/2011   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001527102   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Muti, Philharmonia
Release Date: 09/02/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 627825   Number of Discs: 5
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Tchaikovsky: Sacred Choral Music / Ahmann, NDR Chor
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Carus  
Catalog: 83338   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Rococo Variations

Browse 51-75 of 91 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    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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  • 52.
    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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  • 53.
    Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations / Ofra Harnoy
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 60758 Release Date: 02/26/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ofra Harnoy
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 54.
    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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  • 55.
    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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  • 56.
    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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  • 57.
    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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  • 58.
    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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  • 59.
    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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  • 60.
    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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  • 61.
    Ofra Harnoy Collection Volume 3 - Tchaikovsky, Saint-saëns
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 68373 Release Date: 02/27/2008   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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  • 62.
    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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  • 63.
    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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  • 64.
    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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  • 65.
    Tchaikovsky, Cui, Glazunov, Rimsky-Korsakov / Isserlis, Gardiner
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 91134 Release Date: 12/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  César Cui
    Performer:  Steven Isserlis
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 66.
    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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  • 67.
    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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  • 68.
    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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  • 69.
    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
    CD: $7.99
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  • 70.
    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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  • 71.
    The Glory Of Rostropovich / 8-Disc Set
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000839202 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Luigi Boccherini,  Robert Schumann,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Tartini  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Rudolf Serkin,  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Paul Sacher,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Herbert von Karajan,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Collegium Musicum,  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 72.
    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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  • 73.
    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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  • 74.
    Legendary Recordings - Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven / Kurt Masur
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 245 Release Date: 02/01/2006   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Annerose Schmidt,  Siegfried Lorenz,  Edda Moser,  Gisela Schröter  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Chorus,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra  ... 
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  • 75.
    Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations, Etc / Kniazev, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 62061 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Alexander Kniazev
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Chamber Orchestra
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