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: Complete Works for Violin & Orchestra / Koh, Vedernikov, Odense Symphony
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Cedille Records  
Catalog: 166   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 2 & Concert Fanatsia / Nebolsin, Stern, New Zealand Symphony
Release Date: 09/09/2016   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8573462   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Eugen Onegin / Levine, Allen, Freni, Von Otter
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 423959   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin / Bychkov, Hvorostovsky, Focile
Release Date: 02/15/1994   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 438235   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame / Gergiev, Kirov Opera
Release Date: 11/16/1993   Label: Philips  
Catalog: 438141   Number of Discs: 3
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Browse 1-25 of 207 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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
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  • 2.
    Julius Katchen: The Complete Decca Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002543002 Release Date: 09/30/2016   Number of Discs: 36
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Julius Katchen,  Thea King
    On sale! $111.98
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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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
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  • 5.
    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,  Seiji Ozawa,  Erich Leinsdorf
    CD: $34.99
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  • 6.
    Eugene Istomin: The Concerto & Solo Recordings
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 88875026172 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Eugene Istomin
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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
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  • 11.
    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,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
    CD: $325.49
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  • 12.
    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
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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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  ... 
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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Boris Khaikin,  Neeme Järvi,  Fuat Mansurov  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 17.
    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
    DVD: $44.49
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    Ivo Pogorelich - Complete Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002265002 Release Date: 03/31/2015   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Ivo Pogorelich
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $57.49
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  • 20.
    Label: Lp Classics   Catalog: 5638424603 Release Date: 03/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Alexander Slobodyanik
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Maxim Shostakovich
    CD: $21.99
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  • 21.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1 (1879 Version); Prokofiev / Gerstein
    Label: Myrios Classics   Catalog: 16 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Kirill Gerstein
    Conductor:  James Gaffigan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 22.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1; Franck: Symphonic Variations
    Label: Hi-q Records   Catalog: 37 Release Date: 02/17/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  César Franck
    Performer:  John Ogdon
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    On sale! $52.98
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  • 23.
    Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture; Capriccio Italien; Romeo And Juliet; Etc.
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 121167 Release Date: 02/03/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Philippe Entremont
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    CD: $29.99
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  • 24.
    Argerich & Abbado - Complete Concerto Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002250602 Release Date: 01/20/2015   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Maurice Ravel,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Mahler Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $26.99
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  • 25.
    Sviatoslav Richter - Complete Decca, Philips & DG Recordings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002236002 Release Date: 01/06/2015   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mikhail Kopelman,  Valentin Berlinsky,  Mstislav Rostropovich  ... 
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Wislocki,  Kurt Sanderling,  Witold Rowicki,  János Ferencsik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moragues Woodwind Quintet members,  Borodin String Quartet,  Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $167.98
    CD: $148.99
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