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: Nutcracker / Gergiev, Mariinsky Ballet & Orchestra [Blu-ray]
Release Date: 12/18/2012   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 4786   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Seasons / Pavel Kolesnikov
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68028   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Iolanta / Valery Gergiev, Et Al
Release Date: 03/26/1996   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 442796   Number of Discs: 2
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Critics' Choice - Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker; Offenbach: Le Papillon / Bonynge
Release Date:    Label: Decca  
Catalog: 4767220   Number of Discs: 2
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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: Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Browse 1-25 of 243 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    The Originals - Legendary Recordings from DG
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002171502 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  David Oistrakh,  Igor Oistrakh,  Pierre Fournier,  Walter Berry  ... 
    Conductor:  David Oistrakh,  Sir Eugene Goossens,  Franz Konwitschny,  Carlos Kleiber  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    On sale! $159.98
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  • 3.
    Radio Days -   Concerto Broadcasts 1969-1979 / Nelson Freire
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002178802 Release Date: 10/21/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Nelson Freire
    Conductor:  Heinz Wallberg,  Reinhard Peters,  Kurt Masur,  Yuri Ahronovitch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos No 1 & 2 / Trpceski, Petrenko, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
    Label: Onyx (Classical Label)   Catalog: 4135 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Simon Trpceski
    Conductor:  Vasily Petrenko
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  • 5.
    Tchaikovsky 1, Prokofiev 3 / Abduraimov
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002145002 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Behzod Abduraimov
    Conductor:  Juraj Valcuha
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RAI National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Tchaikovsky & Chopin / Ingolf Wunder, Vladimir Ashkenazy, St. Petersburg Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002092802 Release Date: 07/15/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Ingolf Wunder
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Tchaikovsky, Grieg: Piano Concertos / Stewart Goodyear
    Label: Steinway & Sons   Catalog: 30035 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Stewart Goodyear
    Conductor:  Stanislav Bogunia
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech National Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Karajan And His Soloists, Vol. 2 (1969-1984)
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633624 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Jules Massenet,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de Paris
    CD: $64.49
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  • 9.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
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  • 10.
    Geza Anda Plays Bartok & Tchaikovsky
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 94225 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Géza Anda
    Conductor:  Hans Müller-Kray,  Ferdinand Leitner
    CD: $14.99
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  • 11.
    Tchaikovsky Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94650 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Derek Hammond-Stroud,  Janis Kelly,  Nikolai Vassiliev,  Alexander Arkhipov  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Yuri Simonov,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 / Matsuev
    Label: Mariinsky   Catalog: 548 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Denis Matsuev
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Tchaikovsky: Tempest, Piano Concerto /   Yang, Lazarev,  Odense Symphony
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9410 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Joyce Yang
    Conductor:  Alexander Lazarev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odense Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Icon: Witold Malcuzynski - The Polish Master Pianist
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 924428 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Witold Malcuzynski
    Conductor:  Walter Susskind,  Paul Kletzki,  Fritz Rieger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  French National Radio Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Franck, Liszt, Schumann,Tschaikowskij, Bartok
    Label: United Classics   Catalog: 2013018 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Clara Haskil
    Conductor:  Alceo Galliera,  Eduard Van Beinum,  Otto Ackermann
    CD: $27.49
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  • 16.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Piano Concerto No 1 / Matsuev, Temirkanov
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 86 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Denis Matsuev
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Paremski Plays Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Catalog: 44 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Natasha Paremski
    Conductor:  Fabien Gabel
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  • 18.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
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  • 19.
    Vladimir Horowitz Live at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548417 Release Date: 09/30/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Muzio Clementi  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Isaac Stern,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Leonard Bernstein,  Lyndon Woodside,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic,  Oratorio Society of New York
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  • 20.
    Gary Graffman - The Complete RCA & Columbia Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546239 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Graffman,  Berl Senofsky,  Shirley Trepel,  Dick Hyman  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Enrique Jorda,  Charles Munch,  Walter Hendl  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    Piano Concertos & Sonatas / Backhaus, Bolet, Koroliov, Buchbinder
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 13033 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Wilhelm Backhaus,  Yevgeny Koroliov,  Rudolf Buchbinder,  Jorge Bolet
    Conductor:  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  North German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $34.99
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  • 22.
    Karajan - 1970s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873702 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 82
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Hans Priem Bergrath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $313.99
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  • 23.
    Piano Rhapsody / Roland Pontinen
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 9044 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Claude Debussy,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Roland Pöntinen
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 24.
    75 Years Ysaye & Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition [cd & Book]
    Label: Muso   Catalog: 5 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Pierre-Alain Volondat,  Wolfgang Manz,  Andrei Nikolsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Franz André,  Georgea Octors,  Edo De Waart,  Rene Defossez  ... 
    CD: $55.49
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  • 25.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 4256 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Nathan Rachlin
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