Пётр Ильич Чайковский (Russian romantic composer)

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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (/ˈpjɔːtər ˈlj ˈkɒfski/; Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский; tr. Pyotr Ilyich Chaykovsky; 25 April/7 May 1840 – 25 October/6 November 1893), often anglicized as Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky /ˈptər .../, was a Russian composer of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.

Although musically precocious, Tchaikovsky was educated for a career as a civil servant. There was scant opportunity for a musical career in Russia at that time and no system of public music education. When an opportunity for such an education arose, he entered the nascent Saint Petersburg Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1865. The formal Western-oriented teaching he received there set him apart from composers of the contemporary nationalist movement embodied by the Russian composers of The Five, with whom his professional relationship was mixed. Tchaikovsky's training set him on a path to reconcile what he had learned with the native musical practices to which he had been exposed from childhood. From this reconciliation, he forged a personal but unmistakably Russian style—a task that did not prove easy. The principles that governed melody, harmony and other fundamentals of Russian music ran completely counter to those that governed Western European music; this seemed to defeat the potential for using Russian music in large-scale Western composition or from forming a composite style, and it caused personal antipathies that dented Tchaikovsky's self-confidence. Russian culture exhibited a split personality, with its native and adopted elements having drifted apart increasingly since the time of Peter the Great. This resulted in uncertainty among the intelligentsia about the country's national identity—an ambiguity mirrored in Tchaikovsky's career.

Despite his many popular successes, Tchaikovsky's life was punctuated by personal crises and depression. Contributory factors included his early separation from his mother for boarding school followed by his mother's early death, the death of his close friend and colleague Nikolai Rubinstein, and the collapse of the one enduring relationship of his adult life, which was his 13-year association with the wealthy widow Nadezhda von Meck. His same-sex orientation, which he kept private, has traditionally also been considered a major factor, though some musicologists now downplay its importance. Tchaikovsky's sudden death at the age of 53 is generally ascribed to cholera; there is an ongoing debate as to whether cholera was indeed the cause of death, or if it was accidental or self-inflicted.

While his music has remained popular among audiences, critical opinions were initially mixed. Some Russians did not feel it was sufficiently representative of native musical values and expressed suspicion that Europeans accepted the music for its Western elements. In an apparent reinforcement of the latter claim, some Europeans lauded Tchaikovsky for offering music more substantive than base exoticism, and said he transcended stereotypes of Russian classical music. Others dismissed Tchaikovsky's music as "lacking in elevated thought," according to longtime New York Times music critic Harold C. Schonberg, and derided its formal workings as deficient because they did not stringently follow Western principles.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1957 Encores David Oistrakh, Vladimir Yampolsky 2
1958 The World of Immortal Serenades Frank Chacksfield & His Orchestra 1
1959 Concert in Rhythm II Ray Conniff 1
1962 Inspiration The Norman Luboff Choir 1
1963 Tchaikovsky in Phase Four London Festival Orchestra 1
1966 Classics Up to Date James Last Orchestra 4
1969 Gems for Orchestra Stanley Black 1
1971 The Phase 4 World of Leopold Stokowski Leopold Stokowski 1
1972 Stuart Burrows sings Favourite Sacred Songs (Ambrosian Singers, Wyn Morris, organist Martin Neary) Stuart Burrows 2
1973 "Humoresque": Favorite Violin Encores Isaac Stern 3
1974 Classics Up to Date, Volume 3 James Last 4
1975 Der Karneval der Tiere Wiener Philharmoniker, Karl Böhm, Karlheinz Böhm 1
1976 A Romantic Collection Van Cliburn 1
1978 Capriccio Italien - Capriccio Espagnol Arthur Fiedler & Boston Pops 1
1978 Classics Up to Date, Volume 5 James Last 2
1979 Encores, Volume 2 Itzhak Perlman, Samuel Sanders 1
1979 Pops Christmas Party Arthur Fiedler & Boston Pops Orchestra 2
1982 Capriccio Italien / A Night on Bare Mountain / The Sorcerer's Apprentice / Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1 Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Eduardo Mata 1
1983 Russian Orchestral Showpieces Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, Vladimir Fedoseyev 1
1984 Ravel: Boléro / Liszt: Les Préludes / Tchaikovsky: Ouverture Solonelle "1812" (The Philadelphia Orchestra feat. Riccardo Muti) Various Artists 2
1985 Still Life Annie Haslam 3
1985 Trompeten Intermezzo Lennart Axelsson 2
1987 Pomp & Pizazz Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra 1
1987 Con Amore Brahms, Kreisler, Elgar; Kyung Wha Chung 2
1987 Piano Masterpieces Silvia Čápová 1
1987 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 1 Balázs Szokolay 2
1987 Tchaikovsky - 1812 Overture Various Artists 1
1987 The Art of the Theremin Clara Rockmore 1
1987 The Complete Transcriptions Sergei Rachmaninoff; Sequeira Costa 1
1988 Welt der Symphonie Various Artists 3
1988 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 2 Péter Nagy 2
1988 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 3 Balázs Szokolay 2
1988 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 4 Péter Nagy 1
1988 Favorite Piano Pieces Various Artists 1 1
1988 Nutcracker San Francisco Ballet Orchestra 1
1988 Orchestral Dances Various Artists 5 1
1988 Popular Classics (The London Symphony Orchestra) Various Artists 1 1
1988 Sabre Dance Various Artists 4 1
1988 Tchaikovsky 1812 Various Artists 2 3
1988 Wunschkonzert / Kleine Stücke - Grosse Meister (disc 2) Various Artists 2 1
1989 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 9 Balázs Szokolay 2
1989 Favourite Classics (London Festival Orchestra feat. conductor: Ross Pople) Various Artists 2
1989 Favourite Encores for String Quartet (Delmé Quartet) The Delmé String Quartet 2
1989 Everything You Hear Is True Various Artists 1
1989 Hightech Konzert Various Artists 1
1989 Romantic Classics: Violin & Piano Concerto, Volume 3 Various Artists 2
1989 Swan Lake The Essential Highlights Mark Ermler 1
1989 Symphony Under the Stars Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Stuart Challender 1
1989 Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake / Minkus: La Bayadere (The Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra) Various Artists 1
1990 Romantic Piano Favourites, Volume 5 Balázs Szokolay 1

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