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: Piano Concerto No. 2 & Concert Fantasia / Nebolsin, Stern, New Zealand Symphony
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573462   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: Symphony no 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Browse 1-25 of 176 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Tchaikovsky: Sympnonies 4, 5 & 6
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2178 Release Date: 12/09/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Christian Lindberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $44.49
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  • 2.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 / Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002581101 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Yuri Temirkanov conducts Tchaikovsky
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88985314362 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philarmonic Orquestra
    CD: $22.99
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  • 4.
    Mravinsky Edition, Vol. 1
    Label: Profil   Catalog: PH15000 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 5.
    The Originals, Vol. 2
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002534902 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Walcha,  Nathan Milstein,  Géza Anda,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Eugen Jochum,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $131.98
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  • 6.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 & 5 / Petrenko, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4150 Release Date: 06/24/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $25.99
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  • 7.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 & Marche slave / Kobayashi, Czech Philharmonic
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 64 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $52.98
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  • 8.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 & Romeo & Juliet / Bernard
    Label: Recursive Classics   Catalog: 2057013 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  David Bernard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Park Avenue Chamber Symphony
    On sale! $31.98
    ArkivCD $29.99
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  • 9.
    Symphonies & Symphonic Poems / Mehta
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002488802 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss,  Hector Berlioz,  Anton Bruckner  ... 
    Performer:  Sidney Harth,  Maureen Forrester,  Daniel Benyamini,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $65.99
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  • 10.
    Europakonzert: 25 DVD Anniversary Box (1991-2015) / Berliner Philharmoniker
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 26098 Release Date: 04/29/2016  
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz  ... 
    Performer:  Leonidas Kavakos,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Violeta Urmana,  Elke Wilm Schulte  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Pierre Boulez,  Gustavo Dudamel,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Choir,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
    On sale! $118.99
    DVD: $116.99
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  • 11.
    The Leonard Bernstein Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002462302 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 64
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Alessi,  Philip Smith,  Glenn Dicterow,  Jaap Van Zweden  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Bach Festival Percussion Ensemble
    CD: $202.99
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  • 12.
    Tschaikowsky: Complete Symphonies, Etc / Kitaenko
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 27 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Leonard Elschenbroich,  Lilya Zilberstein
    Conductor:  Dmitri Kitayenko
    CD: $54.49
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  • 13.
    Djansug Kakhidze: The Legacy, Vol. 2 - Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky
    Label: Cugate Classics   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 10/02/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Jansug Kakhidze
    CD: $24.99
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  • 14.
    Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies And Manfred
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186489 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $68.99
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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    Brahms: Symphony No. 4, Op. 98; Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, Op. 64
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350111 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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  • 17.
    Karl Bohm - Late Recordings - Vienna, London, Dresden
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002327602 Release Date: 06/23/2015   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Jessye Norman,  Placido Domingo,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Böhm
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $75.49
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  • 18.
    Tchaikovsky Edition / Berlin Philharmonic [3-DVD Set]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2060968 Release Date: 04/28/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Simon Rattle,  Mariss Jansons,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $64.49
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  • 19.
    Mercury Living Presence - The Collector's Edition Vol 3
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 002275902 Release Date: 03/23/2015   Number of Discs: 53
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Lehár,  Emil Waldteufel,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Rafael Druian,  Georges Miquelle,  Eugene List,  Alfred Mouledous  ... 
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski,  Frederick Fennell,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica  ... 
    CD: $213.99
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  • 20.
    Berliner Philharmoniker In Japan / Claudio Abbado
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2012478 Release Date: 02/24/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Igor Stravinsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 21.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture; Capriccio Italien; Romeo And Juliet; Etc.
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 121167 Release Date: 02/03/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Philippe Entremont
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    CD: $29.99
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  • 22.
    Tchaikovsky: The Masterworks / Karajan, Richter
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 121245 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    CD: $39.99
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  • 23.
    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  ... 
    CD: $168.99
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  • 24.
    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  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 25.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 1-6; Manfred Symphony; Orchestral Works
    Label: Relief Classical   Catalog: 210307 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Victor Simon,  Vitaly Tarashchenko,  Marina Mesheriakova
    Conductor:  Vladimr Fedosseyev
    CD: $39.99
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