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: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 / Matsuev
Release Date: 02/11/2014   Label: Mariinsky  
Catalog: 548   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Serenade Melancolique / Vinnikov, Menuhin
Release Date: 03/08/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28320   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet, Capriccio Italien, 1812 Overture / Simonov
Release Date: 11/11/2008   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28120   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Swan Lake Suite / Simonov, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 09/13/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28060   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin / Netrebko, Beczala, Gergiev, Met
Release Date: 03/04/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 1994309   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Symphony no 5 in E minor, Op. 64

Browse 126-150 of 189 Available Recordings
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  • 126.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Letter Scene / Hannan, Edwards
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 86168 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sian Edwards
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 127.
    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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  • 128.
    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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  • 129.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5 / Peter Maag, Et Al
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 43037 Release Date: 09/28/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Peter Maag
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Coro di voci bianche "Magnificat"
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  • 130.
    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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  • 131.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Romeo & Juliet / Masur
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4614322 Release Date: 08/23/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 132.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies No 4, 5 & 6 / Kubelik, Vienna Po
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1322 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 133.
    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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  • 134.
    Original Masters - Leopold Stokowski
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000150902 Release Date: 11/25/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Olivier Messiaen,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Alan Civil,  David Gray,  Howard Snell
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus  ... 
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  • 135.
    Classics - Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5 / Previn, Royal Po
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80107 Release Date: 09/23/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 136.
    Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Masterpieces Vol 2
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1198 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Carl Pini,  Vladimir Golschmann,  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 137.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - George Szell
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75962 Release Date: 08/05/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Josef Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Cologne West German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 138.
    Original Masters - Josef Krips
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000017702 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Inge Borkh,  Zara Nelsova
    Conductor:  Josef Krips
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 139.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies (Complete)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 087987 Release Date: 05/05/2003   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 140.
    Karajan - The Collection - Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 4, 5 & 6
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000005502 Release Date: 04/08/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 141.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 / Karajan, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 48310 Release Date: 04/01/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 142.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Paul Kletzki
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75468 Release Date: 02/11/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Hugh Bean
    Conductor:  Paul Kletzki
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  French National Radio Orchestra,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 143.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies / Abbado, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 87883 Release Date: 11/19/2002   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 144.
    Willem Mengelberg - Conductor
    Label: Andante   Catalog: 2966 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 145.
    Westminster - Tchaikovsky, Dvorak / Rodzinski, Royal Po
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471272 Release Date: 06/11/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Artur Rodzinski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 146.
    Great Conductors Of The 20th Century - Serge Koussevitzky
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 75118 Release Date: 06/04/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Roy Harris,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Serge Koussevitzky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 147.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5
    Label: Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra/   Catalog: 5637324052 Release Date: 01/12/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Recorded Sound,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Conductor Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra - Hobart Earle
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  • 148.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4 - 6
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 443844 Release Date: 11/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 149.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies, Overtures /Abravanel, Utah
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 3603 Release Date: 10/16/2001   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Maurice Abravanel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Utah Symphony Orchestra
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  • 150.
    Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky / Jordania, et al
    Label: Angelok   Catalog: 9908 Release Date: 06/26/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Conductor:  Vakhtang Jordania
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Federation State Symphony Orchestra
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