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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 Suite, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty
Release Date: 10/17/1995   Label: Emi Seraphim  
Catalog: 69036   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich: String Quartets / Borodin Quartet
Release Date: 11/18/2008   Label: Euroarts  
Catalog: 2072298   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Baryshnikov, Kirkland, American Ballet Theatre
Release Date: 09/28/2004   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2925   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky, Ellington/Strayhorn: Nutcracker Suites
Release Date: 10/08/2013   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 907493   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Suite;  Rachmaninov / Argerich
Release Date: 11/04/2008   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 410616   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48

Browse 1-25 of 97 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Igor Shukow Conducts Works For String Orchestra By Arensky, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich
    Label: Telos   Catalog: 176 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Arensky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Conductor:  Igor Shukow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Moscow Chamber Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Karajan - 1980s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002187902 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 78
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Anton Bruckner,  Johannes Brahms,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  José Van Dam,  Barbara Hendricks,  Gösta Winbergh  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Domenico Bartolucci
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    On sale! $259.98
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  • 3.
    Tchaikovsky: Serenade In C; Bartok: Divertimento / Roman Simovic, LSO String Ensemble
    Label: Lso Live   Catalog: 752 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Béla Bartók
    Conductor:  Roman Simovic
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lso String Ensemble
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    Herbert Von Karajan: 3 Classic Albums - Tchaikovsky
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002120402 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon, Vol. 1 - Orchestral Works
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002132602 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Tibor Varga,  Helmut Krebs,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin RIAS Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    From Russia With Strings
    Label: Intergroove   Catalog: 102 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Arensky
    Conductor:  Saulius Sondeckis
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    Nostalgia & Humility / Burggraaf, Ferschtman, Wiegers
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72629 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Hendrik Andriessen,  Toru Takemitsu
    Performer:  Cora Burggraaf,  Liza Ferschtman
    Conductor:  Bas Wiegers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Youth String Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Tchaikovsky: 8 Symphonies / Rozhdestvensky, Kogan, Ivanov, Russian Federation Ministry of Culture Large Orchestra
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 6003 Release Date: 11/05/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Nina Derbina,  Alexander Polyakov
    Conductor:  Konstantin Ivanov,  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Pavel Kogan,  Sergei Skripka  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Russian Federation Ministry Of Culture Large Orchestra,  Russian State Cinematographic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $28.99
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  • 11.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 2, Serenade For Strings / Svetlanov
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1266 Release Date: 08/13/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 12.
    Tchaikovsky: Serenade For Strings; Souvenir De Florence / Amoyal, Camerata De Lausanne
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 52182 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Pierre Amoyal
    Conductor:  Pierre Amoyal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata de Lausanne
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  • 13.
    Souvenir / Trondheim Solistene
    Label: Two-l   Catalog: 90 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Nielsen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trondheim Soloists
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  • 14.
    Tchaikovsky: Francesca Da Rimini; Italian Capriccio; Serenade For Strings
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002031 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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  • 15.
    Tchaikovsky: Famous Waltzes / Masur, New York Philharmonic
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 59354 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
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  • 16.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5; Serenade For Strings
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001742102 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vladimir Ashkenazy
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  • 17.
    Tchaikovsky: Transcriptions Vol 1 / Anthony Goldstone
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 25093 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Anthony Goldstone
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  • 18.
    Souvenir - Music Of Tchaikovsky & Nielsen [Blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Two-l   Catalog: 90 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Nielsen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trondheim Soloists
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    Blu-ray Audio: $34.99
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  • 19.
    Tchaikovsky & Dvorak: Serenade For Strings - Orchestral Favourites Vol. 9
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 7084 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  William Boughton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English String Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 20.
    The Russian Archives - Evgeny Mravinsky Conducts Russian Composers
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 9268 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Mikhail Glinka,  Maximilian Steinberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
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  • 21.
    Late Romantic Masterpieces / Charles Munch
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 899792 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Gustav Mahler  ... 
    Performer:  Eileen Farrell,  Henryk Szeryng,  Gregor Piatigorsky,  Maureen Forrester
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    On Our Way: The Journey Of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg & The New Century Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Nss Music (Dvd)   Catalog: 11 Release Date: 05/08/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hugo Wolf,  Astor Piazzolla,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alfred Schnittke  ... 
    Performer:  Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Century Chamber Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Souvenir Part 1 / Trondheim Soloists
    Label: Two-l   Catalog: 2L090ALP Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Carl Nielsen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trondheim Soloists
    LP: $39.99
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  • 24.
    Ecco / East Coast Chamber Orchestra
    Label: eOne   Catalog: 7784 Release Date: 03/26/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Francesco Geminiani,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  East Coast Chamber Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Treasures Of Russia [3-CD Set]
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908385 Release Date: 02/14/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Brigitte Engerer,  Iris Oja,  Mati Turi
    Conductor:  Daniele Gatti,  Paul Hillier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
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