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, Bruch: Violin Concertos / Benedetti, Hrusa, Czech Philharmonic
Release Date: 02/22/2011   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001527102   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Muti, Philharmonia
Release Date: 09/02/2014   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 627825   Number of Discs: 5
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Songs By Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Etc / Ewa Podles, Garrick Ohlsson
Release Date: 02/24/2009   Label: Wigmore Hall Live  
Catalog: 27   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 1-3 / Valery Gergiev, London Symphony Orchestra
Release Date: 10/09/2012   Label: Lso Live  
Catalog: 710   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Sacred Choral Music / Ahmann, NDR Chor
Release Date: 07/08/2016   Label: Carus  
Catalog: 83338   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Symphony no 6 in B minor, Op. 74 "Pathétique"

Browse 176-200 of 208 Available Recordings
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  • 176.
    Verdi: Messa Da Requiem / Karajan, Zadek, Christoff, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90445 Release Date: 05/29/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Margarete Klose,  Boris Christoff,  Hilde Zadek,  Helge Rosvaenge
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Friends of Music Society Chorus
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  • 177.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Marche Slave / Pletnev, Ussr
    Label: Virgin Classics Special Import   Catalog: 59661 Release Date: 05/01/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian National Orchestra
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  • 178.
    Karajan Conducts Tchaikovsky / Ferras, Berlin Po, Et Al
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 463774 Release Date: 03/13/2001   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Michel Schwalbé,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Christian Ferras,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Don Kossack Choir
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  • 179.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Serenade / Steinberg, Pittsburgh Symphony
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67568 Release Date: 02/13/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
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  • 180.
    Karajan Edition - Tchaikovsky: Symphonie 6, Etc;  Chabrier
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 66392 Release Date: 10/17/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 181.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Etc / Nikolay Golovanov, Et Al
    Label: Boheme Music   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Nikolai S. Golovanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  All-Union Radio/TV Large Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 182.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6;  Mussorgsky / Giulini, Et Al
    Label: Bbc Legends   Catalog: 4023 Release Date: 03/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 183.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Etc / Gergiev, Kirov Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 456580 Release Date: 01/11/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra
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  • 184.
    Martinu: Les Fresques;  Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6 / Kubelik
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 521991 Release Date: 11/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Bohuslav Martinu
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 185.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 60438 Release Date: 08/12/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 186.
    The Tchaikovsky Album / Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 455810 Release Date: 06/09/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 187.
    Celibidache - Tchaikovsky / Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56523 Release Date: 02/17/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sergiu Celibidache
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 188.
    Tchaikovksy: Symphonies No 4, 5 & 6 / Karajan, Berlin Po
    Label: Dg Double   Catalog: 453088 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 189.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Suite No 3 / Rudolf Kempe
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1104 Release Date: 06/01/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 190.
    Stokowski - Tchaikovsky, Strauss / Hollywood Bowl Symphony
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 506 Release Date: 10/29/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Strauss
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra,  New York City Symphony
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  • 191.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Festival Overture / Lonskov, Etc
    Label: Kontrapunkt   Catalog: 32204 Release Date: 06/20/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Tove Lonskov,  Rodolfo Llambias
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lonskov-Llambias Piano Duo
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  • 192.
    Famous Symphonies - Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Tchaikovsky
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8504012 Release Date: 06/18/1996   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert
    Conductor:  Michael Halász,  Richard Edlinger,  Antoni Wit,  Alexander Rahbari
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Symphony Orchestra,  Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice,  Brussels Belgian Radio & TV Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 193.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 4, 5 & 6 / Sanderling, Mravinsky
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 447423 Release Date: 02/13/1996   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky,  Kurt Sanderling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 194.
    Art Of Classics - Tchaikovsky: Masterpieces
    Label: Intercord Klassische Diskothek   Catalog: 25923 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ian Novak,  Hans Lang
    Conductor:  Denis Zsoltay,  Gary Bertini,  Milan Starek,  Hans Zanotelli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  South German Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra,  Munich Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 195.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Etc / Dorati, London So
    Label: Mercury Living Presence   Catalog: 434353 Release Date: 05/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 196.
    Willem Mengelberg Conducts Tchaikovsky
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 809 Release Date: 01/31/1995   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 197.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6, Capriccio Italien
    Label: Sony Classical Infinity Digital   Catalog: 66728 Release Date: 11/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Jahni Mardjani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Georgian Festival Orchestra
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  • 198.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 4-6 / Masur, Leipzig Gewandhaus
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 95981 Release Date: 09/06/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 199.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6;  Smetana / Alexander Gibson
    Label: Chesky Records   Catalog: 65 Release Date: 06/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bedrich Smetana,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sir Alexander Gibson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra,  London Festival Orchestra
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  • 200.
    Bartok;  Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6 / Fricsay, Bavarian Rso
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 200891 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Annie Fischer
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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