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: Violin Concerto; Stravinsky: Les Noces / Currentzis, Musicaeterna
Release Date: 02/19/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 516512   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.1, Op. 13 & The Tempest, Op. 18 / Heras-Casado, Orchestra of St. Luke's
Release Date: 01/06/2017   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902220   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet - Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition - Stravinsky: Firebird / Guilhon-Herbert
Release Date: 01/13/2017   Label: Calliope  
Catalog: 1632   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky Competition 1986 / Batagov
Release Date: 01/13/2017   Label: Melodiya  
Catalog: 1002464   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique"

Browse 1-25 of 211 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Works / Kondrashin, Moscow Philharmonic
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: WS121.312 Release Date: 01/27/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Daniil Shafran,  Leonid Kogan
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 2.
    Michael Gielen Edition, Vol. 4: 1958-2014
    Label: Swr Music   Catalog: 19028 Release Date: 01/13/2017   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Bedrich Smetana,  Franz Liszt,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Besch,  Marianne Luxemburger,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Brigitte Messthaler  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra,  SWR Stuttgart Vocal Ensemble  ... 
    On sale! $57.98
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    Charles Munch: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 516979 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Vincent D'Indy  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Artur Rubinstein,  Margaret Roggero,  Leslie Chabey  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Harvard Glee Club  ... 
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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 & 1812 Overture / Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: C8005 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    CD: $11.99
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  • 8.
    The Tchaikovsky Project: Pathetique & Romeo & Juliet / Bychkov, Czech Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002563402 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Semyon Bychkov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 9.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 - Borodin: Polovtsian Dances / Fischer
    Label: Channel Classics   Catalog: 37016 Release Date: 10/07/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Borodin
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Brno Czech Philharmonic Choir
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  • 10.
    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  ... 
    CD: $142.49
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  • 11.
    Berliner Philharmoniker: Great Symphonies
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002500502 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Anton Bruckner,  Antonín Dvorák,  César Franck  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Eugen Jochum,  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Maria Giulini  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $25.49
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 - Dvorak: Rusalka Fantasy / Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 720 Release Date: 05/13/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Manfred Honeck
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    Philips Classics: The Stereo Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002445602 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elly Ameling,  Dalton Baldwin,  Jörg Demus  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Bernard Haitink,  Raymond Leppard,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $134.49
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  • 16.
    111: The Collector's Editions [111 CDs]
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002422702 Release Date: 12/11/2015   Number of Discs: 111
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Martha Argerich  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Lorin Maazel,  Franz Konwitschny  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Amadeus Quartet,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 17.
    Djansug Kakhidze: The Legacy, Vol. 3 - Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-korsakov, Stravinsky
    Label: Cugate Classics   Catalog: 3 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  Jansug Kakhidze
    CD: $24.99
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 550569 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    CD: $11.99
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  • 22.
    Mariss Jansons Live: The Radio Recordings, 1990-2014 [13-CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Rco Live   Catalog: 15002 Release Date: 06/30/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Louis Andriessen,  Hector Berlioz,  Anton Bruckner,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Sitkovetsky,  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Ferruccio Furlanetto,  Leo van Doeselaar  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
    CD: $158.99
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    Seiji Ozawa: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564613951 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin,  Béla Bartók,  Zoltán Kodály  ... 
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Michel Béroff,  Masuko Ushioda  ... 
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris,  Japan Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 25.
    Yevgeny Mravinsky: Special Edition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002295 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Claude Debussy,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  A. Vavilina-Mravinskaya
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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