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Tchaikovsky, Pyotr (1840-1893)

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

born: 7 May 1840
died: 6 November 1893
country: Russia

Born in Kamsko-Votkinsk in the Vyatka province of Russia on 7 May 1840, Tchaikovsky’s father was a mining engineer, his mother of French extraction. He began to study the piano at five, benefiting also from the musical instruction of his elder brother’s French governess. In 1848 the family moved to the imperial capital, St Petersburg, where Pyotr was enrolled at the School of Jurisprudence. He overcame his grief at his mother’s death in 1854 by composing and performing, although music was to remain a diversion from his job – as a clerk at the Ministry of Justice – until he enrolled as a full-time student at the St Petersburg Conservatory in 1863. His First Symphony was warmly received at its St Petersburg premiere in 1868 and he completed an opera on a melodrama by Ostrovsky, which he later destroyed. Swan Lake, the first of Tchaikovsky’s three great ballet scores, was written in 1876 for Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre. Between 1869 and the year of his death Tchaikovsky composed over 100 songs, cast mainly in the impassioned Romance style and textually preoccupied with the frustration and despair associated with love – conditions that characterised his personal relationships.

Tchaikovsky’s hasty decision to marry an almost unknown admirer in 1877 proved a disaster, his homosexuality combining strongly with his sense of entrapment. By now he had completed his Fourth Symphony, was about to finish his opera Eugene Onegin, and had attracted the considerable financial and moral support of Nadezhda von Meck, an affluent widow. She helped him through his personal crisis and in 1878 he returned to composition with the Violin Concerto, although his work remained inhibited until the completion in 1885 of the Byron-inspired Manfred Symphony. Tchaikovsky claimed that his Sixth Symphony represented his best work; the mood of crushing despair heard in all but the work’s third movement reflected the composer’s troubled state of mind. He committed suicide nine days after its premiere on 6 November 1893.

from notes by Andrew Stewart © 2011

Albums

Tchaikovsky & Glinka: Piano Trios
CDH55322Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Tchaikovsky & Rachmaninov: Piano Concertos
APR5519Download only
Tchaikovsky & Scriabin: Piano Concertos
CDH55304Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Tchaikovsky: Eighteen Piano Pieces Op 72
CDH88029Helios (Hyperion's budget label) — Archive Service
Tchaikovsky: Liturgy of St John Chrysostom
CDH55437Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos
CDA67711/22CDs
Tchaikovsky: Piano Sonatas
CDA66939Archive Service
Tchaikovsky: Serenade; Bartók: Divertimento
Studio Master: LSO0752Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Tchaikovsky: Songs
CDH55331Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence; Arensky: String Quartet
CDH55426Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos 1-3
Studio Master: LSO0710Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6
Studio Master: SIGCD253Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Tchaikovsky: The seasons
Studio Master: CDA68028Best of 2014Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Hyperion monthly sampler – December 2014
FREE DOWNLOADHYP201412Download-only monthly sampler NEW
Hyperion monthly sampler – November 2014
FREE DOWNLOADHYP201411Download-only monthly sampler NEW
A Choral Christmas
Studio Master: SIGCD257Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Alexander Goldenweiser – Tchaikovsky & Grieg
APR5661Download only
Arensky: String Quartet; Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence
CDH55426Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Bartók: Divertimento; Tchaikovsky: Serenade
Studio Master: LSO0752Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Christmas with The King's Singers
SIGCD502Download only
Favourite Classics
CDH55001Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Favourite Encores for string quartet
CDH55002Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
For Children
CDH55194Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Glinka & Tchaikovsky: Piano Trios
CDH55322Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Grainger: Rambles and Reflections
CDH55454Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Hommage à Chopin
CDA67803
Ikon, Vol. 1
CDA66928
Ikon, Vol. 2
CDA67756
Konstantin Igumnov – Schumann & Tchaikovsky
APR5662Download only
Lev Oborin – Beethoven, Chopin & Liszt
APR5668Download only
Liszt: Complete Piano Music
CDS44501/9899CDs Boxed set + book (at a special price)
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 53 – Music for piano & orchestra II
CDA67403/43CDs
Liszt: The complete music for solo piano, Vol. 6 – Liszt at the Opera I
CDA66371/22CDs
Percy Grainger – The complete 78-rpm solo recordings
APR7501Download only
Pushkin Romances
CDA67773
Rachmaninov & Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos
APR5519Download only
Rachmaninov: The Complete Solo Piano Music
CDS44041/8Boxed set (at a special price) — Download only
Rachmaninov: The Transcriptions
CDH55458Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Romantic novelties for violin and orchestra
SIGCD224Download only
Russian Images, Vol. 1
CDA67105
Russian Images, Vol. 2
CDA67205
Russian Treasures
Studio Master: SIGCD900Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Scriabin & Tchaikovsky: Piano Concertos
CDH55304Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
Stephen Hough's New Piano Album
CDA67043
Tatiana Nikolayeva – Tchaikovsky
APR5666Download only
The Maiden's Prayer
CDH55410Helios (Hyperion's budget label)
The Stephen Hough Piano Collection
This album is not yet available for downloadHOUGH1Super-budget price sampler
Hyperion monthly sampler – June 2014
FREE DOWNLOADHYP201406Download-only monthly sampler

Complete works available for download

Album pour enfants, Op 39Alexander Goldenweiser (piano)
Angel vopiyashe 'The angel cried'Corydon Singers, Matthew Best (conductor)
Blazheni, yazhe izbral 'Blessed are they, whom thou hast chosen'Holst Singers, Stephen Layton (conductor)
Concert Fantasia in G major, Op 56Stephen Hough (piano), Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä (conductor)
Concert Fantasia in G major, Op 56Tatiana Nikolayeva (piano), USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Kyrill Kondrashin (conductor)
Dix-huit morceaux, Op 72Angela Brownridge (piano)
Dumka 'Russian Rustic Scene', Op 59Stephen Hough (piano)
Grand Sonata in G major 'No 3', Op 37Leslie Howard (piano)
Humoresque, Op 10 No 2Stephen Hough (piano)
Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op 41Corydon Singers, Matthew Best (conductor)
Moy geni, moy angel, moy drug 'My genius, my angel, my friend'Vassily Savenko (bass), Alexander Blok (piano)
Nine Sacred ChorusesCorydon Singers, Matthew Best (conductor)
None but the lonely heart, Op 6 No 6Stephen Hough (piano)
Paraphrase on Tchaikovsky's Flower WaltzPiers Lane (piano)
Paraphrase on Tchaikovsky's Flower WaltzPercy Grainger (piano)
Paraphrase on Tchaikovsky's Flower WaltzPercy Grainger (piano)
Pas de quatre. Dance of the Four SwansStephen Hough (piano)
Pesn' Zemfirï 'Zemfira's song'Joan Rodgers (soprano), Sergey Rybin (speaker), Malcolm Martineau (piano)
Piano Concerto No 1 in B flat minor, Op 23Nikolai Demidenko (piano), BBC Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Lazarev (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 1 in B flat minor, Op 23Stephen Hough (piano), Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 1 in B flat minor, Op 23Vladimir Horowitz (piano), New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, John Barbirolli (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 2 in G major, Op 44Stephen Hough (piano), Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 2 in G major, Op 44Tatiana Nikolayeva (piano), USSR State Symphony Orchestra, Nikolai Anosov (conductor)
Piano Concerto No 3 in E flat major, Op 75Stephen Hough (piano), Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä (conductor)
Piano Trio in A minor, Op 50The Moscow Rachmaninov Trio
Serenade for strings in C major, Op 48LSO String Ensemble, Roman Simović (conductor)
Sérénade mélancolique, Op 26Hideko Udagawa (violin), Philharmonia Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)
Six morceaux, Op 19Pavel Kolesnikov (piano)
Sleeping Beauty ParaphraseStephen Hough (piano)
Solitude, Op 73 No 6Stephen Hough (piano)
Sonata in C sharp minor 'No 2', Op 80Leslie Howard (piano)
Sonata in F minor 'No 1'Leslie Howard (piano)
String Sextet in D minor 'Souvenir de Florence', Op 70The Raphael Ensemble
Symphony No 1 in G minor 'Winter daydreams', Op 13London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (conductor)
Symphony No 2 in C minor 'Little Russian', Op 17London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (conductor)
Symphony No 3 in D major 'The Polish', Op 29London Symphony Orchestra, Valery Gergiev (conductor)
Symphony No 6 in B minor 'Pathétique', Op 74Philharmonia Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras (conductor)
The seasons, Op 37bPavel Kolesnikov (piano)
The seasons, Op 37bKonstantin Igumnov (piano)
Zabït tak skoro 'To forget so soon'Joan Rodgers (soprano), Roger Vignoles (piano)
FRANZ LISZT (1811-1886))
Polonaise aus Tschaikowskys Oper Jewgeny Onegin, S429Leslie Howard (piano)
SOPHIE MENTER (1846-1918))
Ungarische Zigeunerweisen 'Konzert im ungarischen Styl', S714Leslie Howard (piano), Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Karl Anton Rickenbacher (conductor)

Alphabetical listing of all musical works

12 morceaux, Op 40 (Tchaikovsky)
À l'église  
Akh, uymis tï, burya! 'Be still, storm!'  
Album pour enfants, Op 39 (Tchaikovsky)
Andante cantabile  
Angel vopiyashe 'The angel cried' (Tchaikovsky)
Berceuse  
Blagoslavlyayu vas, lesa 'I bless you, forests'  
Blagosloven gradyy 'Blessed is he who comes'  
Blazheni, yazhe izbral 'Blessed are they, whom thou hast chosen' (Tchaikovsky)
Blazhenni yazhe izbral 'Blessed are they'  
Capriccioso: Allegretto simplice – Allegro vivacissimo – Tempo I  
Chanson allemande  
Chanson italienne  
Chanson napolitaine  
Chanson populaire 'Kamarinskaya'  
Chanson russe  
Chanson triste  
Chant de l'alouette  
Chant élégiaque  
Concert Fantasia in G major, Op 56 (Tchaikovsky)
Conte de la vieille bonne  
Contrastes: Andante cantabile  
Da ispravitsya 'Let my prayer'  
Danse caractéristique  
Den li tsarit 'By day or by night'  
Dialogue  
Dix-huit morceaux, Op 72 (Tchaikovsky)
Dostoyno est 'Hymn to the Mother of God'  
Dostoyno est 'Hymn to the Mother of God'  
Douce rêverie  
Dumka 'Russian Rustic Scene', Op 59 (Tchaikovsky)
Dvenadtsat' Romansov 'Twelve Romances', Op 60 (Tchaikovsky)
Echo rustique  
Enterrement de la poupée  
Feuillet d'album: Allegretto simplice  
Gavorit sultansha kanareyka 'The sultana speaks to a canary'  
Grand Sonata in G major 'No 3', Op 37 (Tchaikovsky)
Humoresque, Op 10 No 2 (Tchaikovsky)
Impromptu  
Izhe heruvimï, tayno obrazuyushche 'Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim'  
Kabï znala ya 'If only I had known'  
Kanareyka 'The canary'  
Kheruvimskaya pesnya 'The Cherubic Hymn'  
Kheruvimskaya pesnya 'The Cherubic Hymn' in C major  
Kheruvimskaya pesnya 'The Cherubic Hymn' in D major  
Kheruvimskaya pesnya 'The Cherubic Hymn' in F major  
Khvalite Gospoda 'Praise the Lord'  
Kolïbel'naya pesn v buryu 'Lullaby in a storm'  
Kolïbel'naya pesnya 'Lullaby'  
Kolïbel'naya pesnya 'Lullaby'  
Kukushka 'The cuckoo'  
La nouvelle poupée  
La poupée malade  
La sorcière 'Baba Yaga'  
Le matin en hiver  
Le paysan prélude  
Le petit cavalier  
Legend 'The Crown of roses'  
L'espiègle  
Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, Op 41 (Tchaikovsky)
L'orgue de barbarie  
Maman  
Marche des soldats de bois  
Mazurka  
Mazurka pour danser  
Méditation  
Mélodie antique française  
Milost mira 'A mercy of peace'  
Moy geni, moy angel, moy drug 'My genius, my angel, my friend' (Tchaikovsky)
Ne ver moy drug 'Do not believe me'  
Net, tolko tot, kto znal 'Only one who knows yearning'  
Ni slova, o drug moy 'Not a word, my friend'  
Nine Sacred Choruses (Tchaikovsky)
Nochi bezumnïye 'Frenzied nights'  
Nocturne: Andante sentimentale  
None but the lonely heart, Op 6 No 6 (Tchaikovsky/Hough)
Nyne sily nebesnyya 'Now the powers of heaven'  
O ditya, pod okoshkom tvoim 'O child, below your balcony'  
Otche nash 'Our Father'  
Otche nash 'Our Father'  
Otchevo? 'Why?'  
Paraphrase on Tchaikovsky's Flower Waltz (Tchaikovsky/Grainger)
Pas de quatre. Dance of the Four Swans (Tchaikovsky/Wild)
Passé lointain  
Pesn' Zemfirï 'Zemfira's song' (Tchaikovsky)
Piano Concerto No 1 in B flat minor, Op 23 (Tchaikovsky)
Piano Concerto No 2 in G major, Op 44 (Tchaikovsky)
Piano Concerto No 2 in G major, Op 44 (Tchaikovsky/Hough)
Piano Concerto No 2 in G major, Op 44 (Tchaikovsky/Siloti)
Piano Concerto No 3 in E flat major, Op 75 (Tchaikovsky)
Piano Trio in A minor, Op 50 (Tchaikovsky)
Polacca de concert  
Polka  
Polonaise aus Tschaikowskys Oper Jewgeny Onegin, S429 (Liszt/Tchaikovsky)
Prière du matin  
Priidite, poklonimsya 'Come, let us worship'  
Rêverie du soir: Andante espressivo  
Scène dansante: Invitation au trepak  
Scherzo humoristique: Allegro vivacissimo  
Scherzo-fantaisie  
Sem Romansov 'Seven Romances', Op 47 (Tchaikovsky)
Serenada  
Serenada Don-Zhuana 'Don Juan's serenade'  
Serenade for strings in C major, Op 48 (Tchaikovsky)
Sérénade mélancolique, Op 26 (Tchaikovsky)
Shest Romansov 'Six Romances', Op 16 (Tchaikovsky)
Shest Romansov 'Six Romances', Op 16 (Tchaikovsky/Rachmaninov)
Shest Romansov 'Six Romances', Op 25 (Tchaikovsky)
Shest Romansov 'Six Romances', Op 28 (Tchaikovsky)
Shest Romansov 'Six Romances', Op 38 (Tchaikovsky)
Shest Romansov 'Six Romances', Op 6 (Tchaikovsky)
Shest Romansov 'Six Romances', Op 63 (Tchaikovsky)
Shestnadtsat Pesen dlya detey 'Sixteen Songs for children', Op 54 (Tchaikovsky)
Shestnadtsat Pesen dlya detey 'Sixteen Songs for children', Op 54 (Tchaikovsky/Lubbock)
Six morceaux, Op 19 (Tchaikovsky)
Slava Otsu, i Synu 'Glory be to the Father, and to the Son'  
Sleeping Beauty Paraphrase (Tchaikovsky/Pabst/Hough)
Slyeza drozhit 'A tear trembles'  
Solitude, Op 73 No 6 (Tchaikovsky/Hough)
Solovey 'The nightingale'  
Sonata in C sharp minor 'No 2', Op 80 (Tchaikovsky)
Sonata in F minor 'No 1' (Tchaikovsky/Howard)
Spi, ditya moyo, usni! 'Sleep my child, go to sleep!'  
Sred' shumnovo bala 'Amid the din of the ball'  
Sred shumnovo bala 'At the ball'  
Starïy muzh, groznïy muzh, rezh menya 'Old man, dreadful man, stab me'  
Strashnaya minuta 'The fearful minute'  
String Quartet No 1 in D major, Op 11 (Tchaikovsky)
String Sextet in D minor 'Souvenir de Florence', Op 70 (Tchaikovsky)
Symphony No 1 in G minor 'Winter daydreams', Op 13 (Tchaikovsky)
Symphony No 2 in C minor 'Little Russian', Op 17 (Tchaikovsky)
Symphony No 3 in D major 'The Polish', Op 29 (Tchaikovsky)
Symphony No 6 in B minor 'Pathétique', Op 74 (Tchaikovsky)
Tebe poem 'We praise you'  
Tebe poem 'We praise you'  
Tebe poem 'We praise you'  
Tendres reproches  
The seasons, Op 37b (Tchaikovsky)
Thème original et variations: Andante non tanto – Variations 1-12  
Tï priletel iz goroda 'You have flown in from the town'  
Tï vnimayesh, vniz skloniv golovku 'You listen, with bowed head'  
To bïlo ranneyu vesnoy 'It was in early spring'  
Un poco di Chopin  
Un poco di Schumann  
Ungarische Zigeunerweisen 'Konzert im ungarischen Styl', S714 (Menter/Liszt/Tchaikovsky)
Uzh tayet sneg, begut ruchi 'The snow is melting, streams are flowing'  
Valse  
Valse à cinq temps  
Valse-bluette  
Vcherashnaya noch bïla tak svetla 'Last night was so bright'  
Veruyu 'The Creed'  
Vesna 'Spring'  
Ya li v pole da ne travushka bïla 'I was a little blade of grass'  
Za oknom v teni melkayet 'At the window, in the shadow'  
Zabït tak skoro 'To forget so soon' (Tchaikovsky)
Zachem? 'Why?'  
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