Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky


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: Ballet Music; Glazunov: Les Sylphides / Lenárd, Yablonsky, Mogrelia
Release Date: 03/31/2009   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8507009   Number of Discs: 7
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Work: Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48

Browse 26-50 of 92 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    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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  • 27.
    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
    CD: $23.99
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  • 28.
    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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  • 29.
    Souvenir, Pt. 1 / Trondheim Soloists [Vinyl]
    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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  • 30.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 31.
    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
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 32.
    Label: Bayer Records   Catalog: 100380 Release Date: 01/01/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Schultheiß,  Gabriel Faur,  Irene Lachner
    Conductor:  Ruben Gazarian
    CD: $18.99
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  • 33.
    Icon: William Steinberg
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 26486 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Rudolf Firkusny
    Conductor:  William Steinberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $63.99
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  • 34.
    PentaTone - The First 10 Years
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186500 Release Date: 09/27/2011   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Julia Fischer,  Sa Chen,  Arabella Steinbacher,  Mari Kodama  ... 
    Conductor:  Yakov Kreizberg,  Simon Murphy,  Lawrence Foster,  Marek Janowski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra,  Russian National Orchestra,  Chamber Soloists of The New Dutch Academy  ... 
    SuperAudio CD: $78.99
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  • 35.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Symphonies / Muti, Philharmonia
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 97999 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Andrei Gavrilov
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    On sale! $49.98
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  • 36.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete Works For Cello And Orchestra
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94188 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Alexander Rudin
    Conductor:  Nikolai Alexeev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Viva Instrumental Ensemble
    CD: $8.99
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  • 37.
    Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini; Serenade for Strings; Marche Slave / Rozhdestvensky
    Label: Apex   Catalog: 4675470 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Michael Semenoff,  Galina Gluschenka
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    CD: $8.99
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  • 38.
    Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Works, Symphonies 1-6  / Jarvi, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1897 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 39.
    Balanchine Ballets: Jewels; Serenade; Allegro Brillante; Symphony In C
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 48625 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Igor Stravinsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Georges Bizet
    Performer:  Michel Béroff,  Peter Donohoe
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Seiji Ozawa,  Riccardo Muti,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Paris Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 40.
    Tchaikovsky: Serenade, Souvenir de Florence / Dogma Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Audiomax   Catalog: 9121654 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Matthew Gurewitsch
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  • 41.
    Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings; Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik; Grieg / simonov
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks   Catalog: 28190 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Yuri Simonov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $9.99
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  • 42.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 4-6, Serenade, Romeo & Juliet / Gatti
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2907561 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Daniele Gatti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $31.99
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  • 43.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Serenade for Strings / Rozhdestvensky
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1104 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Vladimir Fedoseyev
    CD: $9.99
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  • 44.
    Tchaikovsky, Dvorak: Serenades / Leppard, English Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 420883 Release Date: 04/08/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Raymond Leppard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 45.
    Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet, Serenade; Ewald: Quintets / Eschenbach, Philadelphia Orchestra
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1150-2 Release Date: 03/30/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Victor Ewald,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra Brass Section,  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $34.99
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  • 46.
    Sir John Barbirolli - The Great EMI Recordings - 40th Anniversary
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 57767 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  Giacomo Puccini,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Janet Baker,  André Navarra
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $68.99
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  • 47.
    The Royal Edition - Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto / Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 47637 Release Date: 12/16/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Isaac Stern
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 48.
    Serenade - Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Brahms, Suk, Wiren
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 466459 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Johannes Brahms,  Dag Wirén,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Conductor:  István Kertész,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
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  • 49.
    A Far Cry: Debut
    Label: A Far Cry   Catalog: 5637198701 Release Date: 05/03/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Osvaldo Golijov,  George Frideric Handel,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Leon Schelhase
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  A Far Cry (String Orchestra)
    CD: $18.99
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  • 50.
    Tchaikovsky: Serenade For Strings;  Grieg, Mozart / Bashmet, Moscow Soloists
    Label: Onyx   Catalog: 4037 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Edvard Grieg,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Yuri Bashmet
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Soloists
    CD: $20.99
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