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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: The Nutcracker Suite;  Rachmaninov / Argerich
Release Date: 11/04/2008   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 410616   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Violin in D major, Op. 35

Browse 26-50 of 208 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Itzhak Perlman - 5 Classic Albums
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 939025 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Manuel de Falla,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Samuel Sanders
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Lawrence Foster,  André Previn,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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  • 27.
    The Hubermann Week Festival, 30th Anniversary
    Label: Helicon   Catalog: 29667 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Shlomo Mintz,  Isaac Stern,  Daniel Benyamini,  Pinchas Zukerman  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
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    On sale! $61.98
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  • 28.
    Erato - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 46441 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Pierre Pierlot,  Paul Hongne,  Jacques Chambon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Frigyes Sándor,  Kent Nagano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Soloists  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
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  • 29.
    The Art Of Erica Morini -  Westminster / American Decca Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 40044 Release Date: 11/12/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Erica Morini,  Leon Pommers,  Walter Trampler,  Felix Galimir  ... 
    Conductor:  Artur Rodzinski,  Nicholas Harsanyi,  Frederic Waldman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Princeton Chamber Orchestra,  Musica Aeterna
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  • 30.
    BBC Legends - Great Recordings from the Archive
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5113 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Robert Schumann,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Beryl Hatt,  Agnes Giebel,  Joyce Barker,  Kerstin Meyer  ... 
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orpington Junior Singers,  Goldsmiths' Choral Union  ... 
    CD: $98.99
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  • 31.
    Fritz Reiner - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 370198 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 63
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Rolf Liebermann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Jascha Heifetz,  Emil Gilels,  Inge Borkh  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Lyric Theatre Chorus,  Studio Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Bernard Haitink - The Philips Years [20-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001903502 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  Herman Krebbers,  Menahem Pressler,  Isidore Cohen  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
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  • 33.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Bartok: Violin Concerto No 2 / Stern
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95624 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Ernest Ansermet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swiss Festival Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Sibelius, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / Yoon, Borkowski, Gorzow Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 336 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Soyoung Yoon
    Conductor:  Piotr Borkowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gorzow Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto / Grubert, Sinaisky, Moscow Philharmonic
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94656 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ilya Grubert
    Conductor:  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 36.
    David Oistrakh [5-CD Set]
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001931 Release Date: 06/11/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giovanni Battista Viotti,  César Franck,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Taneyev  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Nicolai Malko,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Alexander Gauk
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $72.99
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  • 37.
    Tchaikovsky Live / Nemtanu, Masur, French National Orchestra
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5325 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sarah Nemtanu
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
    CD: $19.99
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  • 38.
    Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos; Sarasate / Gerhard Taschner
    Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)   Catalog: 6421797 Release Date: 04/23/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Pablo de Sarasate
    Performer:  Gerhard Taschner,  Michael Raucheisen
    Conductor:  Arthur Rother,  Fritz Lehmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Ashkenazy - 50 Years on Decca
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820202 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Boris Belkin,  Daniel Barenboim,  Fou Ts'ong  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Lorin Maazel,  Uri Segal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Wind Soloists  ... 
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  • 40.
    The Art Of The Violin
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 7010 Release Date: 03/28/2013   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Edouard Lalo,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Clara Haskil
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Eduard Van Beinum,  Jean Fournet,  Bernhard Paumgartner  ... 
    CD: $38.49
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  • 41.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
    On sale! $201.98
    CD: $154.99
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  • 42.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1; Violin Concerto
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 320152 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  György Cziffra,  Leonid Kogan
    Conductor:  André Vandernoot,  Constantin Silvestri
    CD: $7.99
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  • 43.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto; Rococo Variations
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002013 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    CD: $18.99
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  • 44.
    The Great Violinist Endre Wolf - The Complete Danish Tono Recordings 1949-1951
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 714 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Endre Wolf
    Conductor:  Thomas Jensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $46.98
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  • 45.
    Late Romantic Masterpieces / Charles Munch
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 899792 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Henryk Szeryng,  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Maureen Forrester
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $23.99
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  • 46.
    Nielsen, Tchaikovsky: Violin Concertos / Frang, Jensen, Danish Radio Symphony
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 602570 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Nielsen
    Performer:  Vilde Frang
    Conductor:  Eivind Gullberg Jensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Great Violin Concertos
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8501058 Release Date: 04/24/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Louis Spohr  ... 
    Performer:  Takako Nishizaki,  Simone Lamsma,  Ilya Kaler,  Misha Keylin  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Gunzenhauser,  Oliver Dohnányi,  Patrick Gallois,  Kenneth Jean  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Sinfonia Finlandia,  Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 48.
    L'Art de Ferenc Fricsay
    Label: Tahra   Catalog: 732 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Irmgard Helmis,  Hans Schmitz,  Yehudi Menuhin
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    On sale! $30.98
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  • 49.
    Dedicated to the International Tchaikovsky Competition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1001860 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Van Cliburn,  Valery Klimov,  A. Amentaeva,  Natalia Shakhovskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Maxim Shostakovich,  Mark Ermler,  B. Haikin,  Kiril Kondrashin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  State Academic Bolshoi Theatre Sextet
    CD: $74.49
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  • 50.
    Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos / Ray Chen
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 798410 Release Date: 02/07/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Ray Chen
    Conductor:  Daniel Harding
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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