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 - Dvorak: Rusalka Fantasy / Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony
Release Date: 05/13/2016   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 720   Number of Discs: 1
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Suggestions - Grieg, Nielsen, Sibelius, Tchaikovsky / GliArchi Ensemble
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Stradivarius  
Catalog: 33977   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty / Lezhnina, Ruzimatov, Kirov Ballet
Release Date: 02/25/2014   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 100313   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake / Gruzin, Royal Covent Garden Ballet & Orchestra [blu-ray]
Release Date: 06/30/2015   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7174   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom - Bortnyansky: Choir Concerto XXXII / Polyansky
Release Date: 06/03/2016   Label: Musical Concepts  
Catalog: 1327   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48

Browse 1-25 of 88 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings & Souvenir de Florence / Russian Virtuosi of Europe
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100052 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yuri Zhislin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Virtuosi of Europe
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  • 2.
    Young Spirit of Serenades / German Philharmonic Strings
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 16414 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Wojciech Kilar,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Hentrich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  German Philharmonic Strings
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  • 3.
    The Decca Sound [Repackaged Edition]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002434502 Release Date: 01/29/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Manuel de Falla,  Claude Debussy,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Enrique Granados  ... 
    Performer:  Teresa Berganza,  Alfredo Campoli,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Ataulfo Argenta,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Vladimir Ashkenazy  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $181.49
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  • 4.
    Royal Strings
    Label: Lasting Impression Music   Catalog: 76 Release Date: 10/16/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Antonín Dvorák,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Clio Gould,  Christine Jackson
    Conductor:  Charles Rosekrans
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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    String Orchestra Gems By Suk And Tchaikovsky
    Label: Fleur De Son   Catalog: 58025 Release Date: 07/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Josef Suk,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Kypros Markou
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  • 7.
    Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings; Shostakovich: String Quartet No 2 / Scottish Ensemble
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 472 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Ensemble
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  • 8.
    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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  • 9.
    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  ... 
    CD: $245.99
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  • 10.
    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:  London Symphony Orchestra String Ensemble
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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    Prelude To A Winter Morning
    Label: Imperial Classics   Catalog: 81312 Release Date: 10/21/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Hugo Steurer
    Conductor:  Alberto Lizzio,  Alfred Scholz,  Henry Adolph,  Oliver Dohnányi  ... 
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  • 13.
    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
    CD: $21.99
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  • 14.
    Ferenc Fricsay: Complete DG Recordings, 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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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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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  • 18.
    Tchaikovsky: The Seasons; Serenade For String Orchestra
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002096 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    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
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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    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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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    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: $14.99
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