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: Complete Symphonies / Jansons, Oslo Philharmonic
Release Date: 04/29/2008   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10392   Number of Discs: 6
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Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Bruch / Maxim Rysanov, Muhai Tang, Swedish Chamber Orchestra
Release Date: 08/23/2011   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1843   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No  2 / Pletnev, Russian National Orchestra
Release Date: 06/26/2012   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186382   Number of Discs: 1
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Elgar & Tchaikovsky: Works for Cello & Orchestra / Moser, Manze, Suisse Romande Orchestra
Release Date: 02/03/2017   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186570   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky Plus One, Vol. 1 / Douglas
Release Date: 11/16/2018   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10991   Number of Discs: 1
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Composition Type: Chamber Music

Browse 1-25 of 176 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Russian Chamber Music / Borodin Quartet
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 520463 Release Date: 10/09/2020   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Alexander Borodin,  Vissarion Yakovlevich She  ... 
    Performer:  Natalia Gutman,  Yuri Bashmet,  Ludmilla Berlinsky,  Elisabeth Leonskaja
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Borodin String Quartet,  Borodin String Quartet members
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  • 2.
    Sir John Barbirolli: Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 538608 Release Date: 08/07/2020   Number of Discs: 109
    Composer:  Henry Purcell,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Antonio Brosa,  George Alexander,  Laurance Turner,  Peter Hecht  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir John Barbirolli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  John Barbirolli Chamber Orchestra,  London Violincello School,  Royal Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    100 Best Tchaikovsky
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 548467 Release Date: 07/31/2020   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Vladimir Spivakov,  Peter Donohoe,  Paul Tortelier  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev,  Seiji Ozawa,  Rudolf Barshai,  Yan Pascal Tortelier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Northern Sinfonia  ... 
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  • 4.
    Beethoven: Complete Violin Sonatas, Cello Sonatas, String Trios & Piano Trios
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 543863 Release Date: 07/31/2020   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Pinchas Zukerman,  Jacqueline Du Pré,  Daniel Barenboim,  Gervase de Peyer  ... 
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  • 5.
    Dvorak & Tchaikovsky: Piano Trios / Capucon, Soltani, Shani
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 568941 Release Date: 07/31/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Renaud Capuçon,  Kian Soltani,  Lahav Shani
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  • 6.
    Russian Colours / Zhislin, Camerata Tchaikovsky [Vinyl]
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: ORC100137 Release Date: 07/17/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Anton Arensky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Yuri Zhislin
    Conductor:  Yuri Zhislin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Tchaikovsky
    LP: $26.99
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  • 7.
    Russian Colours / Zhislin, Camerata Tchaikovsky
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100136 Release Date: 06/19/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Anton Arensky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Yuri Zhislin
    Conductor:  Yuri Zhislin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Tchaikovsky
    CD: $17.99
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  • 8.
    Viola Romance / Golani, Kollar
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 32811 Release Date: 03/27/2020   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Enrique Granados,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Cécile Louise Chaminade  ... 
    Performer:  Rivka Golani,  Zsuzsa Kollár
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  • 9.
    Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence - Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition / Camerata du Leman
    Label: Pentatone   Catalog: 5186762 Release Date: 03/06/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Du Léman
    On sale! $15.99
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  • 10.
    Russian Chamber Music
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95953 Release Date: 01/03/2020   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Mikhail Glinka,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Taneyev,  Georgy Catoire  ... 
    CD: $74.49
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  • 11.
    Tchaikovsky: Souvenirs / Hoffman, Silva, Rolston String Quartet
    Label: Fuga Libera   Catalog: 757 Release Date: 11/22/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Gary Hoffman,  Miguel da Silva
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rolston String Quartet
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  • 12.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio - Rachmaninoff: Trio Elegiaque No. 1 / Trio Mezzena
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 7825 Release Date: 10/18/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Mezzena
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  • 13.
    Tchaikovsky & Babajanian: Piano Trios / Gluzman, Moser, Sudbin
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2372 Release Date: 10/04/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Arno Babadjanian,  Alfred Schnittke
    Performer:  Vadim Gluzman,  Johannes Moser,  Yevgeny Sudbin
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  • 14.
    Tchaikovsky & Borodin: Russian String Quartets / Various
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553101 Release Date: 10/04/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Anna Reszniak,  Byoi Kang,  Barbara Buntrock,  Julian Steckel  ... 
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  • 15.
    Tchaikovsky: Complete String Quartets & String Sextet / Quatuor Danel
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 555292 Release Date: 09/06/2019   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Vladimír Bukač,  Petr Prause
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danel Quartet
    CD: $34.99
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  • 16.
    Tchaikovsky & Gulda: Cello Concertos / Spahn, Frucht, Bavarian State Academy Orchestra
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 18016 Release Date: 05/03/2019   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Friedrich Gulda,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Jakob Spahn
    Conductor:  Stephan Frucht
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra Academy
    CD: $29.99
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  • 17.
    Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 2 - Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8 & 2 Pieces / David Oistrakh String Quartet
    Label: Muso Entertainment   Catalog: 11 Release Date: 03/15/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  David Oistrakh String Quartet
    CD: $18.99
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  • 18.
    Cello Concertos Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95782 Release Date: 01/18/2019   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Nicolo Porpora,  Georg Matthias Monn,  Giovanni Benedetto Platti  ... 
    Performer:  Francesco Galligioni,  Adriano Fazio,  Franziska Romaner,  Isabella Bison  ... 
    Conductor:  Federico Guglielmo,  Vladislav Czarnecki,  Jonathan Morton,  Ludwig Güttler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Arte dell'Arco,  Cappella Neapolitana,  Ensemble Cordia  ... 
    CD: $63.99
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  • 19.
    Russian Cello Concertos / Quin, Halasz, Czech Chamber Philharmonic Pardubice
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573860 Release Date: 01/11/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Glazunov
    Performer:  Li-Wei Qin
    Conductor:  Michael Halász
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Czech Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Pardubice
    CD: $11.99
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  • 20.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio - Rachmaninoff: Trio Elegiaque No. 1 / Wurtz, Makhtin, Kniazev
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95632 Release Date: 11/09/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Klára Würtz,  Dmitri Makhtin,  Alexander Kniazev
    CD: $9.99
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  • 21.
    Michala Petri: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19075821022 Release Date: 06/22/2018   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Giuseppe Sammartini,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Michala Petri,  Keith Jarrett,  Elizabeth Selin,  Lars Hannibal  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Vladimir Spivakov,  George Malcolm,  Okko Kamu  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra,  Guildhall String Ensemble  ... 
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  • 22.
    Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto, Op. 35; String Quartet No. 3, Op. 30 / Weithaas, Camerata Bern
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553393 Release Date: 04/06/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Antje Weithaas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Bern
    CD: $17.99
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  • 23.
    Intuition / Capucon
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 566208 Release Date: 02/02/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Jerome Ducros,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Giovanni Sollima  ... 
    Performer:  Gautier Capuçon,  Jerome Ducros
    Conductor:  Douglas Boyd
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Chamber Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Dvorak, Tchaikovsky & Borodin: String Quartets / Escher String Quartet
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2280 Release Date: 01/05/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Alexander Borodin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Escher String Quartet
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  • 25.
    Leonard Bernstein, Vol. 1
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 743008 Release Date: 08/25/2017   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Claude Debussy,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Hans Sotin,  Judith Blegen,  Claes-Hakan Ahnsjo  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Keith Lockhart,  John Williams,  Stefan Asbury  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $48.99
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