Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
A genius and a perfectionist,
Tchaikovsky is yet another composer who endured much emotional
pain that consequently fueled the development of his own
unique music. As a youth, Tchaikovsky was bidden into the
same educational situation as Schumann; but, at the age
of 23, Tchaikovsky fled law for music and entered the St.
Petersburg conservatory where he studied with Anton Rubinstein.
Rubinstein was the first to unearth the talent within young
Peter and to criticize his compositions. Yet Tchaikovsky
was shy and sensitive and was therefore too nervous to attend
the first public performance of his work. Soon after, he
applied for a position as a professor of composition at
the Conservatory of Music in Moscow. For the rest of his
life, he would be burdened with the desire for perfection
which would lead him to destroy much of his work. This was
complicated by his homosexuality, the circumstances of his
marriage, and his overall tendency towards depression. By
1876, Tchaikovsky completely devoted himself to composition.
It was during this period that he brought himself to compose
some extraordinary work, which included his famous Symphony
No. 4, the opera Eugene Onegin, Serenade for
Strings, Capriccio Italien, and the 1812 Overture.
In 1888, he underwent a European tour, which prompted him
to compose his more successful and famous work. In 1893,
nine days after the premier of his last symphony, the Pathétique,
Tchaikovsky died. The causes of his death are still to this
day unknown. Nevertheless, Tchaikovsky defined himself through
his brilliant, highly Romantic, and individualistic work.
- Symphony No. 1 "Winter
- Overture Fantasy Romeo and Juliet (1869)
- Symphony No. 2 "Little Russian" (1872)
- Piano Concerto No. 1 (1875)
- Symphony No. 3 "Polish" (1875)
- March Slave (1876)
- Variations on a Rococo theme (1876)
- Symphony No. 4 (1878)
- Violin Concerto (1878)
- Serenade for Strings (1880)
- Capriccio Italien (1880)
- Overture 1812 (1880)
- Manfred Symphony (1885)
- Overture Fantasy Hamlet (1888)
- Symphony No. 5 (1888)
- Symphony No. 6 "Pathétique"
- Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
- Swan Lake (1876)
- The Sleeping Beauty (1889)
- The Nutcracker (1892)
- Eugene Onegin (1878)
- The Maid of Orleans (1878-1879)
- The Queen of Spades (1890)
- Iolanthe (1891)
- Romance Op. 5 (1868)
- Chanson Triste
- Chan sans paroles
- The Seasons Op. 37a (1876)
- Piano Sonata in C-sharp Minor, Op. 80 (1893)
Marcos Gazdarica. Tchaikovsky Page. 2001.
Longyear, Ray M. Nineteenth-Century
Romanticism in Music. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall,
Rosen, Charles. The
Romantic Generation. Cambridge: Harvard University Press,
Sony Classical. Sony Music Entertainment.