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: Manfred Symphony / Bychkov, Czech Philharmonic
Release Date: 08/25/2017   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 002717902   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Jurowski, London Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 09/15/2017   Label: Lpo  
Catalog: 101   Number of Discs: 7
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Tchaikovsky: The Symphonies And Manfred
Release Date: 09/11/2015   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186489   Number of Discs: 7
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Tchaikovsky & Grieg: Piano Concertos / Kozhukhin, Sinaisky
Release Date: 04/08/2016   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186566   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Dances And Overtures / Kuchar, Ukrainian NSO
Release Date: 03/21/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554845   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48

Browse 1-25 of 93 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Jurowski, London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 101 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Kotova Plays Tchaikovsky
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3531 Release Date: 09/08/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Nina Kotova
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $16.99
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  • 3.
    Eugene Ormandy conducts Tchaikovsky
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88883737162 Release Date: 05/12/2017   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Leonard Rose,  Isaac Stern,  Gary Graffman,  Tedd Joselson
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    On sale! $32.98
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  • 4.
    Tchaikovsky: Serenade Op. 48 - Sibelius: Voces Intimae Op. 56 / Veses, Orchestre d'Auvergne
    Label: Aparte   Catalog: 139 Release Date: 02/17/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Roberto Fores Veses
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Auvergne Orchestra
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  • 5.
    The Tchaikovsky Cycle / Fedoseyev, Moscow Radio Symphony
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 109318 Release Date: 01/20/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Viktor Tretyakov,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Antonio Meneses
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
    DVD: $63.99
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  • 6.
    Charles Munch: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 516979 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Vincent D'Indy  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Artur Rubinstein,  Margaret Roggero,  Leslie Chabey  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Harvard Glee Club  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $226.99
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  • 7.
    Brotons, Handel & Tchaikovsky
    Label: Eudora   Catalog: EUD1605 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Salvador Brotons,  George Frideric Handel,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Joaquin Riquelme Garcia
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 8.
    Jascha Heifetz: The Complete Stereo Collection (Remastered)
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 309534 Release Date: 08/26/2016   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    CD: $101.49
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  • 9.
    Yuri Bashmet: The Complete RCA Recordings
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88875168382 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Max Bruch,  Alfred Schnittke,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Yuri Bashmet,  Viktor Tretyakov,  Mikhail Muntian,  Larissa Diadkova
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Neeme Järvi,  Yuri Bashmet,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Soloists
    On sale! $28.98
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  • 10.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    Young Spirit of Serenades / German Philharmonic Strings
    Label: Genuin Classics   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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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
    CD: $18.99
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  • 16.
    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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  • 17.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    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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  • 21.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $175.98
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  • 22.
    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  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    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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