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: The Nutcracker / Bolshoi Ballet
Release Date: 11/30/1999   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 62   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Karoui, Balanchine, New York City Ballet
Release Date: 11/18/2016   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 738608   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Karoui, Balanchine, New York City Ballet [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 11/18/2016   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 738704   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky, Sibelius: Violin Concertos / Barenboim, Batiashvili, Staatskapelle Berlin
Release Date: 11/04/2016   Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002581802   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Previn, LSO
Release Date: 01/26/2010   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 67694   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35

Browse 1-25 of 181 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Kremer: Complete Concerto Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002582102 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Alban Berg,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Heinz Holliger,  Mischa Maisky,  Rainer Keuschnig  ... 
    Conductor:  Gidon Kremer,  Pierre Boulez,  Sir Colin Davis,  Emil Tchakarov  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Tchaikovsky, Sibelius: Violin Concertos / Barenboim, Batiashvili, Staatskapelle Berlin
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002581802 Release Date: 11/04/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Lisa Batiashvili
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Berlin
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  • 3.
    Charles Munch: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 516979 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Vincent D'Indy  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Artur Rubinstein,  Margaret Roggero,  Leslie Chabey  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Harvard Glee Club  ... 
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  • 4.
    Mendelssohn & Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / Milstein, Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002559901 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $24.99
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  • 5.
    Tchaikovsky: Works for Violin & Orchestra / Fischer, Kreizberg, Russian National Orchestra
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186610 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Julia Fischer,  Yakov Kreizberg
    Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 6.
    Tchaikovsky & Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Ferras, Silvestri, Philharmonia Orchestra
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 557401 Release Date: 09/16/2016  
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Christian Ferras
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 7.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra / Koh, Vedernikov, Odense Symphony
    Label: Cedille Records   Catalog: 166 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Jennifer Koh
    Conductor:  Alexander Vedernikov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odense Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 8.
    Jascha Heifetz: The Complete Stereo Collection (Remastered)
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 309534 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    On sale! $99.98
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  • 9.
    Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Tchaikovsky & Bruch: Violin Concertos / Milstein
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 153 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein
    Conductor:  William Steinberg,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Leon Barzin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 10.
    The Art of Itzhak Perlman
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518338 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Itzhak Perlman,  John Williams,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet
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  • 11.
    The Art of Midori
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518340 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Midori,  Robert McDonald,  Nobuko Imai,  Christoph Eschenbach
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Claudio Abbado,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    The Menuhin Century: Luxury Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555050 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 91
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $239.98
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  • 13.
    The Menuhin Century: Unpublished Recordings & Rarities
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555051 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $68.99
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  • 14.
    Philips Classics: The Stereo Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002445602 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elly Ameling,  Dalton Baldwin,  Jörg Demus  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Bernard Haitink,  Raymond Leppard,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $124.98
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  • 15.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Stravinsky: Les Noces
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 516512 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Patricia Kopatchinskaya,  Alexander Osminin,  Roman Romashkin,  Oksana Pislegina  ... 
    Conductor:  Teodor Currentzis
    CD: $14.99
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  • 16.
    Tchaikovsky & Sibelius: Works for Violin & Orchestra / Oistrakh
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250325 Release Date: 02/05/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonia Orchestra,  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $23.99
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  • 17.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 18.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 19.
    Itzhak Perlman: Live In Russia
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552414 Release Date: 11/20/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Fritz Kreisler,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Janet Goodman Guggenheim
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    CD: $9.99
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  • 20.
    The History of Classical Music in 24 Hours
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002403602 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Anonymous,  Pérotin,  Guillaume de Machaut,  John Dunstable  ... 
    Performer:  Konrad Ragossnig,  Charles [Tenor Vocals] Daniels,  Susan Gritton,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Conductor:  Pater Godehard Joppich,  David Munrow,  Josef Ulsamer,  Bruno Turner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Early Music Consort of London,  Ulsamer-Collegium,  Pro Cantione Antiqua  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 21.
    Itzhak Perlman: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552439 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 77
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Ray Still,  Samuel Sanders  ... 
    Conductor:  Lawrence Foster,  Daniel Barenboim,  Itzhak Perlman,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 552460 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    CD: $9.99
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  • 23.
    Maestro Vladimir Spivakov: Anniversary Edition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002300 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Rodion Shchedrin,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Marina Gusak-Grin,  Vladimir Spivakov,  Inaki Fresan,  Araks Davtyan  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov,  Vladimir Spivakov
    CD: $54.49
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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    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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