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 / Gergiev, Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 12/18/2012   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4786   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Seasons / Pavel Kolesnikov
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68028   Number of Discs: 1
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Critics' Choice - Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker; Offenbach: Le Papillon / Bonynge
Release Date:    Label: Decca  
Catalog: 4767220   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Iolanta / Valery Gergiev, Et Al
Release Date: 03/26/1996   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 442796   Number of Discs: 2
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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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Work: Swan Lake Suite, Op. 20a

Browse 26-50 of 58 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake, Nutcracker Suite / Désormière, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 66828 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Roger Desormière
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra
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  • 27.
    New Year's Concert 2007 From The Teatro La Fenice
    Label: Tdk   Catalog: CONYC7V Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Niccolò Paganini,  Gioachino Rossini,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Massimo Quarta,  Roberto Frontali,  Giuseppe Filianoti,  Dimitra Theodossiou
    Conductor:  Kazushi Ono
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Venice Teatro la Fenice Orchestra,  Venice Teatro la Fenice Chorus
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  • 28.
    The Glory Of Rostropovich / 8-Disc Set
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000839202 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Martha Argerich,  Rudolf Serkin
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Leonard Bernstein,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Emerson String Quartet  ... 
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  • 29.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Swan Lake / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 72474 Release Date: 02/06/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 30.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Et Al / Rögner, Berlin Rso
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 8566 Release Date: 01/02/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Heinz Rögner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Etc / Abravanel, Utah So
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1947 Release Date: 08/22/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Scoop
    Label: Universal Mod Afw   Catalog: 000734102 Release Date: 07/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Djalma Ferreira,  Julio Sanders,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Conductor:  Lester Lanin,  Peter Wohlert,  Herbert von Karajan,  Stanley Black  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Berlin Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 33.
    Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies, Etc / Mehta, Lapo
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000623502 Release Date: 04/11/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 34.
    The Karajan Collection: Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 76899 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Musik...sprache Der Welt - Selected Orchestral Recordings Ii
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000507202 Release Date: 10/11/2005   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Diana Eustrati,  Aurèle Nicolet
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Fritz Lehmann,  Otmar Suitner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Lamoureux Concerts Association Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 36.
    Musik...sprache Der Welt - Tchaikovsky / Fricsay, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000448002 Release Date: 07/12/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 37.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Bátiz, Royal Po
    Label: Resonance   Catalog: 3047 Release Date: 06/21/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Barry Griffiths,  François Rive
    Conductor:  Enrique Bátiz
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 38.
    A Tchaikovsky Festival
    Label: Classical Heritage   Catalog: 5864 Release Date: 09/21/2004   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Festival Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 39.
    Complete Collections - Tchaikovsky: Symphonies / Temirkanov
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 55781 Release Date: 12/16/2003   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Seiji Ozawa, Boston So
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000130602 Release Date: 10/14/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1, Swan Lake, Etc
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469271 Release Date: 08/14/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Lorin Maazel,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Minnesota Brass Band,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 42.
    Eloquence - Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Bonynge, Mehta
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467403 Release Date: 06/12/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Uri Pianka,  Michael Haran
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 43.
    Karajan Conducts Tchaikovsky / Ferras, Berlin Po, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463774 Release Date: 03/13/2001   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Christian Ferras,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Don Kossack Choir
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  • 44.
    A Night At The Ballet
    Label: Lifestyles   Catalog: 215005 Release Date: 01/16/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake & Sleeping Beauty Suites / Mogrelia
    Label: Amadis   Catalog: 7069 Release Date: 10/07/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Andrew Mogrelia
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Cassovia
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  • 46.
    The Greatest Holiday Classics
    Label: Platinum Disc   Catalog: 164 Release Date: 09/28/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Philharmonia Orchestra
    Conductor:  Adrian Leaper
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  • 47.
    Tchaikovsky: Ballet Suites / Karajan, Wiener Po
    Label: London/Decca Legends   Catalog: 466379 Release Date: 08/10/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 48.
    The Tchaikovsky Album / Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 455810 Release Date: 06/09/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Prokofiev:
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1107 Release Date: 10/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 50.
    Tschaikowsky: Ballett-Suiten / Rostropovich, Berlin PO
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 449726 Release Date: 03/11/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Eberhard Finke,  Leon Spierer
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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