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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: Nutcracker Suite, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty
Release Date: 10/17/1995   Label: Emi Seraphim  
Catalog: 69036   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich: String Quartets / Borodin Quartet
Release Date: 11/18/2008   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2072298   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Baryshnikov, Kirkland, American Ballet Theatre
Release Date: 09/28/2004   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2925   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky, Ellington/Strayhorn: Nutcracker Suites
Release Date: 10/08/2013   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 907493   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: 18 Piano Pieces / Konstantin Shamray
Release Date: 02/28/2012   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572225   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35

Browse 1-25 of 207 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Kyung Wha Chung - Complete Decca Recordings [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002217700 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jean Sibelius,  Fritz Kreisler  ... 
    Performer:  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Phillip Moll,  Radu Lupu,  Myung-Wha Chung  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  André Previn,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $94.49
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  • 2.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Domenico Bartolucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    On sale! $259.98
    CD: $209.99
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  • 3.
    Seiji Ozawa - The Philips Years: Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002185602 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Mariko Kobayashi,  Everett Firth,  Hiroshi Arimori,  Sawako Yasue  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Saito Kinen Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $179.98
    CD: $163.99
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  • 4.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 5.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
    CD: $139.99
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  • 6.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    On sale! $159.98
    CD: $111.99
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  • 7.
    Joshua Bell: 3 Classic Albums
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002131702 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Samuel Sanders
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Cleveland Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 8.
    Tchaikovsky, Glazunov: Violin Concertos / Oistrakh, Kondrashin, USSR Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2261 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  David Oistrakh
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 9.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Arensky: Quartet
    Label: Avanti Classic   Catalog: 1043 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Arensky
    Performer:  Claudio Bohorquez,  Lily Francis,  Nicolas Altstaedt
    Conductor:  Martin Panteleev
    On sale! $24.98
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  • 10.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon, Vol. 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002132602 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 11.
    David Garrett - The Early Years
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002064902 Release Date: 08/19/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Niccolň Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  David Garrett,  Aleksandr Markovich,  Itamar Golan,  Bruno Canino
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Mikhail Pletnev
    On sale! $51.98
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  • 12.
    Claudio Abbado - The Complete RCA & Sony Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304505 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Murray Perahia,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Midori  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 13.
    Complete Vengerov: Recordings 1991-2007 [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 631514 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Itamar Golan,  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Kurt Masur,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 14.
    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
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 15.
    Viktoria Mullova: 3 Classic Albums
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002044702 Release Date: 05/06/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Viktoria Mullova
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa,  Claudio Abbado,  Esa-Pekka Salonen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 16.
    Yoon-hee Kim Plays Khachaturian & Tchaikovsky Violin Concertos
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Catalog: 46 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Yoon-Hee Kim
    Conductor:  Barry Wordsworth
    CD: $17.99
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  • 17.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $125.98
    CD: $103.99
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  • 18.
    Concertos Parlando
    Label: Cobra Records   Catalog: 40 Release Date: 04/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Balys Dvarionas,  Rodion Shchedrin,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Philippe Graffin,  Martin Hurrell
    Conductor:  Robertas Servenikas,  Mikhail Agrest
    On sale! $20.98
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  • 19.
    Itzhak Perlman - Concertos, Sonatas & More
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5438882 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Erich Leinsdorf,  André Previn,  John T. Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 20.
    Jascha Heifetz Plays Great Violin Concertos
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 7761382 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz,  Osian Ellis,  William Primrose,  Thornton Lofthouse  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Walter Hendl,  Sir Malcolm Sargent  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $22.99
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  • 21.
    Tchaikovsky Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94650 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Derek Hammond-Stroud,  Janis Kelly,  Nikolai Vassiliev,  Alexander Arkhipov  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Yuri Simonov,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $128.99
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  • 22.
    Tianwa Yang: Live Concert In St Petersburg
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 2110283 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Eugčne Ysa˙e
    Performer:  Tianwa Yang
    Conductor:  Vladimir Lande
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $19.99
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  • 23.
    Vadim Repin - Early Recordings
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 2121 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Eugčne Ysa˙e
    Performer:  Vadim Repin
    Conductor:  Arnold Katz
    CD: $18.99
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  • 24.
    Tchaikovsky, Korngold: Concertos; Doubles Jeux / 	Laurent Korcia
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 40040 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Maurice Ravel,  Michel Portal  ... 
    Performer:  Laurent Korcia,  Michael Wendeberg,  Michel Portal,  Nemanja Radulovic  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ličge Philharmonic Orchestra,  Jean-Louis Aubert
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  • 25.
    The Westminster Legacy
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001999302 Release Date: 02/18/2014   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Sena Jurinac,  Lucretia West,  Hans Loeffler,  Frederick Guthrie  ... 
    Conductor:  Hermann Scherchen,  Pierre Monteux,  René Leibowitz,  Erich Leinsdorf  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Academy Chamber Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
    CD: $134.99
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