Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky


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
Eugene Ormandy conducts Tchaikovsky
Release Date: 05/12/2017   Label: Rca  
Catalog: 88883737162   Number of Discs: 12
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Great Russian String Quartets: Borodin, Glazunov, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich
Release Date: 10/16/2015   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 6006   Number of Discs: 6
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Tchaikovsky & Khachaturian: Piano Concertos / Wang
Release Date: 04/29/2016   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5167   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony, The Voyevoda / Petrenko
Release Date: 10/28/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8570568   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet, Capriccio Italien, Francesca da Rimini / Kogan
Release Date: 02/09/2010   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 1033   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Browse 1-25 of 201 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Arthur Rubinstein plays Great Piano Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88883737172 Release Date: 05/12/2017   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Eugene Ormandy,  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    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
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  • 3.
    Der andere Badura / Paul Badura-Skoda
    Label: Gramola   Catalog: GRAM99130 Release Date: 03/17/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Paul Badura-Skoda
    Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult,  Artur Rodzinski,  Hans Swarowsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 4.
    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: $63.99
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  • 5.
    Andras Schiff, Piano: Live
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002386 Release Date: 11/11/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergey Rachmaninov,  Franz Liszt,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Andras Schiff
    Conductor:  Dmitri Kitayenko
    CD: $29.99
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  • 6.
    Emil Gilels: 100th Anniversary Edition
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002433 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Isaac Albeniz,  Alexander Alyabyev,  Arno Babadjanyan,  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    CD: $499.99
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  • 7.
    Mravinsky Edition, Vol. 1
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 15000 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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  • 8.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Nutcracker Suite / Dariescu, Ang, Royal Philharmonic
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 441 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Alexandra Dariescu
    Conductor:  Darrell Ang
    CD: $17.99
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  • 9.
    Emil Gilels: The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 517731 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner,  Eugene Ormandy,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $36.99
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  • 10.
    Julius Katchen: The Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002543002 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Julius Katchen,  Thea King
    On sale! $111.98
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  • 11.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 / Blumenthal, Gielen, Vienna Musikgellschaft Orchestra [Vinyl]
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: BRLP013 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Daniel Blumenthal
    Conductor:  Michael Gielen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Musikgesellschaft Orchestra
    LP: $29.99
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  • 12.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Piano Pieces / Kaneko, London Philharmonic
    Label: Exton   Catalog: 80 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Miyuji Kaneko
    Conductor:  Ken-Ichiro Kobayashi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $52.98
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  • 13.
    Andre Watts: The Complete Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 511979 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  André Watts
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Thomas Schippers,  Erich Leinsdorf,  Seiji Ozawa
    CD: $34.99
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  • 14.
    Great Moments at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503227 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Roy Harris,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Jussi Björling,  Frederick Schauwecker,  Van Cliburn  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Serge Koussevitzky,  Bruno Walter,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
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  • 15.
    Tchaikovsky & Grieg: Piano Concertos / Kozhukhin, Sinaisky
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186566 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Denis Kozhukhin
    Conductor:  Vassili Sinaisky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $145.99
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  • 17.
    Russian Piano Concertos / Pierce, Freeman, Trevor
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1464 Release Date: 01/05/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Aram Khachaturian,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Freeman,  Kirk Trevor
    On sale! $28.98
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  • 18.
    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,  Paris Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 19.
    Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No 2; Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1 / Pappano, Rana
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553119 Release Date: 11/27/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Beatrice Rana
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    CD: $16.99
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  • 20.
    The Complete Columbia And Electrola Solo And Concerto Recordings, 1929-1951
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 7701 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Egon Petri,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Egon Petri
    Conductor:  Leslie Heward,  Walter Goehr,  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    CD: $48.99
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  • 21.
    Martha Argerich: The Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002364402 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 48
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Guy Touvron,  Gidon Kremer,  Alexandre Gurning  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Charles Dutoit,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Jörg Faerber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $182.49
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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    From The History Of The Tchaikovsky Competition Phonodocuments
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002349 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin,  Dmitri Shostakovich  ... 
    Performer:  Naum Shtarkman,  Stefan Ruha,  Victoria Stefanescu,  Lev Vlasenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Boris Khaikin,  Neeme Järvi,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Fuat Mansurov  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 24.
    Nobuyuki Tsujii [3-DVD Set]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2061268 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  John Musto,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Liszt,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Nobuyuki Tsujii,  Yuri Vorobiev,  Olga Sergeyeva
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
    On sale! $41.99
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 25.
    Vassily Sapellnikoff, Xaver Scharwenka: The Complete Recordings
    Label: Apr (Appian)   Catalog: 6016 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Mily Balakirev,  Anton Rubinstein,  Anatole Liadov  ... 
    Performer:  Vassily Sapellnikoff,  Franz Xaver Scharwenka
    Conductor:  Stanley Chapple
    CD: $19.99
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