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 Sleeping Beauty / Kessels
Release Date: 02/23/2018   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7234   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty / Royal Opera House
Release Date: 02/23/2018   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 1257   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky / Rachmaninoff: Piano Concertos / Ohlsson, Marriner
Release Date: 04/22/1997   Label: Hänssler Classic  
Catalog: 98932   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Liturgy Of St. John Chrysostem
Release Date: 10/06/2000   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8553854   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Etc/ Kuchar, Ukraine National So
Release Date: 07/15/2003   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555923   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique"

Browse 1-25 of 216 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Verbier Festival: 25 Years of Excellence / Various
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4835143 Release Date: 08/10/2018   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Luciano Berio,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Malena Ernman,  Yuja Wang,  Martha Argerich,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Gustavo Dudamel,  Kurt Masur,  Gábor Takács-Nagy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verbier Festival Orchestra,  Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Salzburg Festival Concerts / Vienna Philharmonic, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Venezuela National Children's Symphony
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 746008 Release Date: 08/03/2018   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Béla Bartók,  Igor Stravinsky,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Daniel Barenboim,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  West-Eastern Divan Orchestra,  National Children's Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela
    DVD: $78.99
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  • 3.
    Salzburg Festival Concerts / Vienna Philharmonic, West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, Venezuela National Children's Symphony [Blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 746104 Release Date: 08/03/2018   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Béla Bartók,  Igor Stravinsky,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Barenboim
    Conductor:  Pierre Boulez,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Daniel Barenboim,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  West-Eastern Divan Orchestra,  National Children's Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela
    Blu-ray Video: $78.99
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  • 4.
    The London Recordings / Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 7250 Release Date: 08/03/2018   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  William Boyce,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 5.
    Pierre Monteux: The Complete RCA Stereo Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19075816342 Release Date: 05/25/2018   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Igor Stravinsky,  César Franck,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Leonid Kogan,  Henryk Szeryng,  Roberta Peters,  Risë Stevens  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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    CD: $23.99
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  • 6.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6, The Voyevoda / London Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7104 Release Date: 03/02/2018   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yondani Butt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 7.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4-6 / Mravinsky, Leningrad Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4798123 Release Date: 02/16/2018   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $114.99
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  • 8.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 / Bernard, Park Avenue Chamber Symphony
    Label: Recursive Classics   Catalog: 2059912 Release Date: 01/12/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  David Bernard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Park Avenue Chamber Symphony
    CD: $18.99
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  • 9.
    Tchaikovsky: Der Wille zum Gluck / Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900915 Release Date: 01/05/2018   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $32.49
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  • 10.
    Herbert von Karajan: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon & Decca
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4798160 Release Date: 12/08/2017   Number of Discs: 356
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Johannes Brahms,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Staatskapelle Berlin,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $1,250.99
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  • 11.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 / Currentzis, MusicAeterna
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88985404352 Release Date: 11/03/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Teodor Currentzis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  MusicAeterna
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    CD: $11.99
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  • 12.
    Sir Georg Solti: The Complete Chicago Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 4831375 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 108
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $373.99
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  • 13.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Jurowski, London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 101 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $58.99
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  • 14.
    Wilhelm Furtwängler & The Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Biddulph   Catalog: 006 Release Date: 09/01/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 15.
    DG 111: The Conductors / Various
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797477 Release Date: 08/04/2017   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gaston Litaize,  Alain Moglia,  Luben Yordanoff,  Christa Ludwig  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim,  Leonard Bernstein,  Karl Böhm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $138.99
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  • 16.
    Evgeny Mravinsky Edition, Vol. 2
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 65 Release Date: 06/02/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Hector Berlioz,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Boris Trizno,  Elena Sinitzyna
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $34.99
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  • 17.
    Eugene Ormandy conducts Tchaikovsky
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88883737162 Release Date: 05/12/2017   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Leonard Rose,  Isaac Stern,  Gary Graffman,  Tedd Joselson
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    On sale! $32.98
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  • 18.
    New York Philharmonic: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 533636 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 65
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ambroise Thomas  ... 
    Performer:  Oscar Levant,  Robert Casadesus,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg,  Josef Stransky,  Arturo Toscanini,  Sir John Barbirolli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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    CD: $184.99
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  • 19.
    Wiener Philharmoniker: 175th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797090 Release Date: 03/31/2017   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Anton Bruckner,  Emmanuel Chabrier  ... 
    Performer:  Anton Dermota,  Irmgard Seefried,  Rosette Anday,  Paul Schöffler  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Rafael Kubelik,  Wilhelm Furtwängler,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Kuchl String Quartet  ... 
    CD: $175.49
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  • 20.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 1-6, Manfred Symphony, Overtures, Rococo Variations / Rostropovich
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 559987 Release Date: 03/24/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 21.
    Toscanini: The Essential Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 537604 Release Date: 03/10/2017   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Edna Phillips,  Jon Garrison,  Gladys Swarthout,  Nicola Moscona  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 22.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 3, 4 & 6 / Petrenko, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4162 Release Date: 02/17/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
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    CD: $45.99
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  • 23.
    Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Works / Kondrashin, Moscow Philharmonic
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 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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  • 24.
    The Tchaikovsky Cycle / Fedoseyev, Moscow Radio Symphony
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109318 Release Date: 01/20/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Viktor Tretyakov,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Antonio Meneses
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $70.99
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  • 25.
    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! $51.99
    CD: $38.99
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