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: Symphony No 6; Schoenberg / Barenboim, West-Eastern Divan
Release Date: 06/07/2011   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001560702   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake / Jarvi, Bergen
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5124   Number of Discs: 2
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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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Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty / Jarvi, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 11/13/2012   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5113   Number of Discs: 2
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Tchaikovsky & Chopin / Ingolf Wunder, Vladimir Ashkenazy, St. Petersburg Philharmonic
Release Date: 07/15/2014   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 002092802   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for Piano no 1 in B flat minor, Op. 23

Browse 201-225 of 257 Available Recordings
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  • 201.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1, Swan Lake, Etc
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469271 Release Date: 08/14/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Antal Doráti,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Lorin Maazel,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  University of Minnesota Brass Band,  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 202.
    Rubinstein Collection Vol 37 - Grieg, Tchaikovsky: Concertos
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63037 Release Date: 08/07/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Alfred Wallenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
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  • 203.
    Eloquence - Tchaikovsky: Concertos / Postnikova, Ricci
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467404 Release Date: 04/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci,  Viktoria Postnikova
    Conductor:  Jean Fournet,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Symphony,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra
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  • 204.
    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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  • 205.
    Rubinstein Collection Vol 15 - Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63015 Release Date: 03/06/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos,  Vladimir Golschmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra,  NBC Symphony Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 206.
    Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos / Horowitz, Et Al
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 4963 Release Date: 11/28/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz
    Conductor:  Serge Koussevitzky,  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra
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  • 207.
    Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Bartok: Piano Concertos / Gilels
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 68637 Release Date: 10/10/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Emil Gilels
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de Paris,  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 208.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 2; Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 553269 Release Date: 10/05/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Joseph Banowetz,  Jénö Jandó
    Conductor:  Ondrej Lenárd,  György Lehel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bratislava Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Budapest Symphony Orchestra
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  • 209.
    Rubinstein Collection Vol 1 - Brahms, Tchaikovsky
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 63001 Release Date: 08/08/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli,  Albert Coates
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 210.
    Label: Tuxedo Music   Catalog: 1008 Release Date: 04/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  Valeria Walewska
    Conductor:  Hans Swarowsky,  Erich Langer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Chamber Orchestra
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  • 211.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos, Etc;  Tchaikovsky /Rudy, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 73765 Release Date: 04/11/2000   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Mikhail Rudy
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 212.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1 / Rubinstein, Et Al
    Label: Palexa   Catalog: 511 Release Date: 12/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein
    Conductor:  Artur Rodzinski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 213.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1; Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 / Karajan, Kissin, Et Al
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 45986 Release Date: 10/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Evgeni Kissin
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 214.
    Great Piano Concertos / Clifford Curzon
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 460994 Release Date: 08/02/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Edvard Grieg,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch,  Oivin Fjeldstad,  Sir Adrian Boult,  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 215.
    Bernstein Century - Tchaikovsky, Dvorak: Piano Concertos
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 61828 Release Date: 07/27/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Justus Frantz,  Philippe Entremont
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    CD: $8.99
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  • 216.
    Tchaikowsky: Piano Concertos 1 & 2 / Cherkassky, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Dg The Originals   Catalog: 457751 Release Date: 05/11/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Shura Cherkassky
    Conductor:  Richard Kraus,  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 217.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1, Etc / Gavrilov, Ashkenazy
    Label: Emi Seraphim   Catalog: 73296 Release Date: 04/20/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Augustin Dumay,  Andrei Gavrilov
    Conductor:  Emil Tchakarov,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 218.
    Classics Exposed - Romantic Piano Concertos / Engerer, Et Al
    Label: Denon Records   Catalog: 17013 Release Date: 09/15/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Bruno Rigutto,  Hélčne Grimaud,  Brigitte Engerer
    Conductor:  Erich Bergel,  Bruno Rigacci,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Emmanuel Krivine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 219.
    Favourite Piano Concertos Vol 2
    Label: Philips Duo   Catalog: 462182 Release Date: 06/09/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Edvard Grieg,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Richard Addinsell  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Martha Argerich,  Misha Dichter
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 220.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos, Etc / Pletnev, Fedoseyev
    Label: Virgin Classics Veritas   Catalog: 61463 Release Date: 05/05/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 221.
    Tchaikovsky: Concerto For Piano No 1, Eugene Onegin
    Label: Spj Music   Catalog: 90011 Release Date: 04/07/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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  • 222.
    Tchaikovsky Competition Vol 1 - 1962 / Ashkenazy, Ogdon
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 33219 Release Date: 03/10/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  John Ogdon,  Vladimir Ashkenazy
    Conductor:  Victor Dubrovsky,  Konstantin Ivanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 223.
    Martha Argerich Collection Vol 1
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 453567 Release Date: 04/22/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Martha Argerich,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Charles Dutoit,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Washington National Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 224.
    Tchaikovsky / Rachmaninoff: Piano Concertos / Ohlsson, Marriner
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98932 Release Date: 04/22/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 225.
    Tchaikovsky, Schumann: Piano Concertos / Rösel, Masur
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 9308 Release Date: 04/22/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Peter Rösel
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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