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, Grieg: Piano Concertos / Stewart Goodyear
Release Date: 06/10/2014   Label: Steinway & Sons  
Catalog: 30035   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake / Jarvi, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 10/29/2013   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 5124   Number of Discs: 2
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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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Historical - Tchaikovsky: Complete String Quartets / Borodin
Release Date: 01/23/2001   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9871   Number of Discs: 2
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Work: Serenade for Strings in C major, Op. 48

Browse 51-75 of 101 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Tchaikovsky Cycle Vol 6 - Symphony No 6, Piano Concerto No 1
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102131 Release Date: 11/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Simply Tchaikovsky
    Label: Union Square   Catalog: 1206195 Release Date: 11/06/2007   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Walther Schulz,  Michael Schnitzler,  Brigitte Engerer,  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
    Conductor:  Kurt Sanderling,  Vassil Kazandjiev,  Stefan Soltesz,  Emmanuel Krivine  ... 
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  • 53.
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite, Serenade For Strings / Stokowski
    Label: Eloquence   Catalog: 4428335 Release Date: 10/27/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Tchaikovsky: Souvenir De Florence, String Serenade / Korsten
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437541 Release Date: 10/22/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Gerard Korsten
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
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  • 55.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 1-4 / Andrew Litton, Bournemouth
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 59699 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Phoenixa Series- Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Serenade
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 63962 Release Date: 09/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hallé Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet; Francesca Da Rimini; Capricio Italien; Overture 1812
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 4643862 Release Date: 05/14/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Federation State Symphony Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Serenades For Strings - Tchaikovsky, Dvorak / Fiedler, Et Al
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 590 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Achim Fiedler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Strings
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  • 59.
    Tchaikovsky, Dvorak: Serenades For Strings
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 590 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Achim Fiedler
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  • 60.
    Evgeni Mravinsky (Box)
    Label: Membran International Gmbh   Catalog: 1073090 Release Date: 04/27/2006   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Johannes Brahms,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Tchaikovsky: Francesca Da Rimini, Serenade / Stokowski, London SO
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186122 Release Date: 04/18/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Festival Orchestra Live - Sarasate, Et Al / Les Orpheistes
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 7202 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Astor Piazzolla,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Walter Baer  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Hossen
    Conductor:  Joel Mathias Jenny
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Orpheistes
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  • 63.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Serenade / Perlman, Et Al
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 4089 Release Date: 07/19/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Alfred Wallenstein,  Gilbert Varga
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Tschaikowsky-variationen - Tchaikovsky, Arensky / Geringas
    Label: Ebs   Catalog: 6123 Release Date: 05/31/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Arensky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  David Geringas
    Conductor:  David Geringas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pforzheim Southwest German Chamber Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Dvorak, Tchaikovsky: Slavonic Serenades
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250217 Release Date: 04/05/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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  • 66.
    Tchaikovsky: War And Peace
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 74605 Release Date: 04/05/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Leonard Bernstein
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  • 67.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Serenade / Mengelberg, Et Al
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2013 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Willem Mengelberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
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  • 68.
    A Tchaikovsky Festival
    Label: Classical Heritage   Catalog: 5864 Release Date: 09/21/2004   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Festival Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 69.
    Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Masterpieces Vol 2
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1198 Release Date: 08/12/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Carl Pini,  Vladimir Golschmann,  Pierre Monteux
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Tchaikovsky: Serenade For Strings, Etc / Fabbriciani, Yang
    Label: Arts Music   Catalog: 47633 Release Date: 04/29/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Roberto Fabbriciani,  Wenn-Sinn Yang
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Tchaikovsky: Souvenir De Florence, Serenade / Boni, Et Al
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186009 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Marco Boni
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Baby Needs Beauty
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1622 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Carol Rosenberger,  Corey Cerovsek,  János Starker,  Angel Romero  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian,  Gerard Schwarz,  Lev Kontorovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Chamber Orchestra,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Spiritual Revival Choir of Moscow
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  • 73.
    Dvorak, Tchaikovsky: Serenades;  Grieg / Yoo, Metamorphosen
    Label: Archetype   Catalog: 60105 Release Date: 07/30/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  Scott Yoo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Mozart, Shoeck, Tchaikovsky / Emmanuel Siffert, Swiss Co
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1075 Release Date: 07/30/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Othmar Schoeck,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Anita Fatton
    Conductor:  Emmanuel Siffert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Swiss Chamber Orchestra
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  • 75.
    The Music Of Tchiakovsky, Mozart And Leniado-chira, Vol. 5
    Label: Music Usa   Catalog: 5637371732 Release Date: 03/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joseph Leniado-Chira,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Joseph Leniado-Chira
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