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 76-86 of 86 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Bloch, Elgar, Kabalevsky, Et Al: Cello Works / Isserlis
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 61490 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Isserlis
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart,  John Eliot Gardiner,  Andrew Litton,  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  London Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 77.
    Bottesini: Double Bass Concertos, Etc / Badila, Zuccarini
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 210 Release Date: 06/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giovanni Bottesini
    Performer:  Ovidiu Badila,  Keng-Yuen Tseng
    Conductor:  Marco Zuccarini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pomeriggi Musicali Chamber Orchestra
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  • 78.
    Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations, Etc / Maisky, Orpheus CO
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453460 Release Date: 02/03/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mischa Maisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
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  • 79.
    Dvorák: Cello Concerto;  Tchaikowsky / Rostropovich, Karajan
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 447413 Release Date: 01/23/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 80.
    Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations;  Bruch, Bloch / Kliegel
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550519 Release Date: 03/21/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Max Bruch,  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Maria Kliegel
    Conductor:  Gerhard Markson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
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  • 81.
    Great Works for Cello & Orchestra / Rostropovich
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 437952 Release Date: 12/06/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Alexander Glazunov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 82.
    Nathaniel Rosen In Concert - Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich
    Label: John Marks Records   Catalog: 3 Release Date: 03/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Nathaniel Rosen
    Conductor:  Emil Tabakov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 83.
    Brazilian Festival `88 - Masters & Winners
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1018 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Béla Bartók,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Antonio Vivaldi
    Performer:  Emmanuel Lopez,  Karen Elaine,  Scott Yoo,  Aldo Parisot  ... 
    Conductor:  Eleazar de Carvalho
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paraiba Symphony Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Cello Masterpieces - Dvorák, Etc / Cassadó, Perlea, Et Al
    Label: Vox Box Legends   Catalog: 5502 Release Date: 11/04/1992   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Gaspar Cassadó
    Conductor:  Jonel Perlea
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Pro Musica Orchestra
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  • 85.
    Tchaikovsky: Music For Cello & Orchestra / Wallfisch, Simon
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 8347 Release Date: 10/09/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Raphael Wallfisch
    Conductor:  Geoffrey Simon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 86.
    Dvorák: Cello Concerto; Bruch, Tchaikovsky / Starker, Dorati
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 432001 Release Date: 09/12/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  János Starker
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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