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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: Symphony no 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Browse 101-125 of 178 Available Recordings
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  • 101.
    Tchaikovsky Cycle Vol 5 - Symphony No 5, Piano Concerto No 2
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102129 Release Date: 10/30/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 102.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies No 4-6, Etc / Bernstein
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000958502 Release Date: 09/11/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 103.
    Edition Ferenc Fricsay Vol 1 - Tchaikovsky, Schumann / Cortot, Fricsay, Berlin Radio Symphony
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 95498 Release Date: 08/21/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Alfred Cortot
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 104.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, The Tempest / Slatkin, St Louis
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 60425 Release Date: 06/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 105.
    Gemini - Tchaikovsky: Symphonies No 4, 5 & 6 / Karajan
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 81798 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 106.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies No 4, 5 & 6 / Antonio Pappano
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 53258 Release Date: 03/06/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Alessio Allegrini,  Stefano Novelli
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Orchestra
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  • 107.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies, Piano Concertos, Etc / Masur, Et Al
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 63781 Release Date: 02/27/2007   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Lorne Munroe,  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Glenn Dicterow
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 108.
    Brain In The Orchestra Vol 2 - Tchaikovsky / Karajan, Et Al
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 7029 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Dennis Brain
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 109.
    Tchaikovsky: 6 Symphonies, Etc / Abbado, Chicago So, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88807 Release Date: 11/28/2006   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 110.
    Stokowski And Kubelik Conduct - Stereo Recordings From 1952
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1190 Release Date: 11/21/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacob Avshalomov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Bedrich Smetana
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Symphony Orchestra,  Mercury Orchestra
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  • 111.
    Label: Ovidiu Marinescu   Catalog: 5637423653 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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  • 112.
    Pierre Monteux In France 1952-58 Concert Performances
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1182 Release Date: 07/18/2006   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Greindl,  Libero De Luca,  Hélène Bouvier,  Maria Stader  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
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  • 113.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Etc / Szell, Cleveland So
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 78744 Release Date: 06/06/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra
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  • 114.
    Historical - Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1, Etc / Ogden
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1894 Release Date: 04/25/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 115.
    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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  • 116.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Etc / Eschenbach, Et Al
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1076 Release Date: 04/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 117.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Capriccio Italien
    Label: Danacord   Catalog: 414 Release Date: 02/03/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Ilya Stupel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Artur Rubinstein State Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 118.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5 / Masur, Et Al
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5040 Release Date: 01/17/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 119.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies / Valek, Prague Rso
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 3862 Release Date: 11/29/2005   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vladimír Válek
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 120.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 4-6 / Gergiev, Vienna Po
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000547002 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $33.99
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  • 121.
    Tchaikovsky, Wagner / Willem Mengelberg, Et Al
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2012 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Wagner
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD: $16.99
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  • 122.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Etc / Neeme Järvi, Gothenburg So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1408 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 123.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5 / Temirkanov
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 65831 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 124.
    London Symphony Orchestra (1904-2004) - Centennial Set
    Label: Andante   Catalog: 4100 Release Date: 01/18/2005   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Hector Berlioz,  Claude Debussy,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Giuseppe Sabbatini,  Laurent Naouri,  Elizabeth Futral
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Sir Colin Davis,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  André Previn  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 125.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies No 1-6, Etc / Antal Dorati, Et Al
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 000337402 Release Date: 11/09/2004   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Arensky,  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Hungarica,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra
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