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, Liszt: Piano Concertos / Alice Sara Ott
Release Date: 10/25/2010   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 001477802   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky, Grieg: Piano Concertos / Stewart Goodyear
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Steinway & Sons  
Catalog: 30035   Number of Discs: 1
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Leonard Slatkin Conducts Tchaikovsky Ballets
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 1920082   Number of Discs: 6
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Claudio Abbado Conducts Tchaikovsky
Release Date: 08/26/2014   Label: Sony (Nax615)  
Catalog: 836722   Number of Discs: 6
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Tchaikovsky: Yolanta / Rostropovich, Vichnievskaia
Release Date: 05/1993   Label: Erato Libretto  
Catalog: 45973   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: None but the Lonely Heart

Browse 26-50 of 112 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Elisabeth Soderstrom - The Russian Songbook
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4802067 Release Date: 08/02/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Alexander Grechaninov
    Performer:  Elisabeth Söderström,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 27.
    Peter Anders Singt Arien Und Lieder
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94214 Release Date: 04/26/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Anders,  Sena Jurinac,  Nata Tüscher,  Heinz Mende  ... 
    Conductor:  Otto Ackermann,  Paul Burkhardt
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  • 28.
    Icon - Elisabeth Schwarzkopf - Perfect Prima Donna
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 18459 Release Date: 03/22/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gottfried H. Stölzel,  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  J. Edward Merret,  Harold Jackson,  Geraint Jones,  Manoug Parikian  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Gellhorn,  Otto Klemperer,  Thurston Dart,  Josef Krips  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Label: Wcj   Catalog: 83448 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Maxim Vengerov,  Itamar Golan,  Galina Vishnevskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Yevgeny Svetlanov,  Zubin Mehta,  Alexander Lazarev  ... 
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  • 30.
    Essential Tchaikovsky
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 07149 Release Date: 02/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Vladimir Spivakov,  Lucia Popp,  Maxim Vengerov  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev,  Riccardo Muti,  Herbert von Karajan,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
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  • 31.
    The Very Best Of Placido Domingo
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48676 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  George Frideric Handel,  Giacomo Meyerbeer,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Montserrat Caballé,  Renato Capecchi,  Peter Horton
    Conductor:  Eugene Kohn,  Asher Fisch,  John Barker,  Georges Prêtre  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 32.
    Gérard Souzay Vol 1 - Recordings 1944-1950
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10235 Release Date: 10/29/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Leguerney,  Charles Gounod,  Maurice Ravel,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Georges Viseur,  Gérard Souzay,  Irene Aïtoff,  Jacqueline Bonneau  ... 
    Conductor:  Edouard von Lindenberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 33.
    Pawel Lisitzian - Lied-Edition
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10300 Release Date: 10/15/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Maurice Ravel,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Performer:  Pavel Lisitsian
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  • 34.
    100 Best Romantic Classics
    Label: Sonoma Entertainment   Catalog: 101 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Stephen Foster,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
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  • 35.
    Labendige Vergangenheit: Pavel Lisitisian In Concert
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89243 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Alexander Glazunov,  Mily Balakirev,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Matvei Sakharov,  Pavel Lisitisian,  Boris Reentovich,  Igor Solodouiev  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Melik-Pashayev
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  • 36.
    Songs For A Lonely Heart / Emanuel Borok, Cullan Bryant
    Label: Eroica Classical Recordings   Catalog: 3448 Release Date: 07/07/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Christoph W. Gluck,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Jules Massenet,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Emanuel Borok,  Cullan Bryant
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  • 37.
    Firebirds In Paris - French & Belgian Singers In Russian Opera & Song
    Label: Marston   Catalog: 51008 Release Date: 06/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Rubinstein  ... 
    Performer:  Germaine Cernay,  Gustav Cloëz,  Renée Doria,  Tasso Janopoulo  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustav Cloëz,  Florian Weiss,  Eugène Bigot,  Maurice Frigara  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Slavonic Souls
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5039 Release Date: 05/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Olena Kushpler,  Zoryana Kushpler
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  • 39.
    Best Tchaikovsky 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56339 Release Date: 05/04/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Charles Abramovic,  Sarah Chang,  Ayako Uehara,  Olaf Maninger  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons,  Seiji Ozawa,  Lovro von Matacic,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
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  • 40.
    The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 50 - Tchaikovsky / Hough, Vanska, Minnesota
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67711 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Stephen Hough
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Russian Romances: Joys And Sorrows
    Label: Bolo Classique   Catalog: 8010 Release Date: 03/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Medtner,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Anastasia Markina,  Eugene Osadchy
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  • 42.
    Concerto For Marienthal
    Label: Klavier Records   Catalog: 11178 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Morton Gould,  Michael Kamen,  Johan Halvorsen,  Clark McAlister  ... 
    Performer:  Eric Marienthal
    Conductor:  Thomas G. Leslie,  Takayoshi Suzuki
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  • 43.
    Mario Lanza - Original Album Classics
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 759218 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sigmund Romberg,  Nicholas Brodszky,  Franz Lehár,  Walter Donaldson  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Lanza
    Conductor:  Constantin Callinicos,  Ray Sinatra,  George Stoll,  Henri René
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 44.
    Dmitri Hvorostovsky Sings Tchaikovsky
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3393 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky,  Ivari Ilja
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  • 45.
    Songs And Romances / Vishnevskaya, Rostropovich
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4690457 Release Date: 06/22/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Alexander Dargomizhsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Mstislav Rostropovich
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  • 46.
    Tchaikovsky: Songs / Joan Rodgers, Roger Vignoles
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55331 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Roger Vignoles,  Joan Rodgers
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  • 47.
    The Record of Singing Vol 5 - From the LP to the Digital Era
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 28949 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Jacques Offenbach,  Georges Bizet,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Luciana Serra,  Neil Shicoff,  Alain Vanzo  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sylvain Cambreling,  Georges Prêtre,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Paris Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 48.
    Tchaikovsky: None But The Lonely Heart / Olga Borodina
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 442013 Release Date: 02/18/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Olga Borodina,  Larissa Gergieva
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  • 49.
    Tchaikovsky: Romances / Stotijn, Drake
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4034 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Christianne Stotijn,  Julius Drake
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  • 50.
    Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rorem: Songs / Gerald Finley, Julius Drake
    Label: Wigmore Hall Live   Catalog: 25 Release Date: 11/28/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolseley Charles,  Einojuhani Rautavaara,  Charles Ives,  Ned Rorem  ... 
    Performer:  Julius Drake,  Gerald Finley
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