Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. He wrote some of the most popular concert and theatrical music in the classical repertoire, including the ballets Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, and the 1812 Overture.

Born into a middle-class family, Tchaikovsky was educated for a career as a civil servant, despite his obvious musical precocity. He pursued a musical career against the wishes of his family, entering the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1862 and graduating in 1865. This formal, Western-oriented training set him apart from the contemporary nationalistic movement embodied by the influential group of young Russian composers known as The Five, with whom Tchaikovsky's professional relationship was mixed.

Although he enjoyed many popular successes, Tchaikovsky was never emotionally secure, and his life was punctuated by personal crises and periods of depression. Contributory factors were his suppressed homosexuality and fear of exposure, his disastrous marriage, and the sudden collapse of the one enduring relationship of his adult life, his 13-year association with the wealthy widow Nadezhda von Meck. Amid private turmoil Tchaikovsky's public reputation grew; he was honoured by the Tsar, awarded a lifetime pension and lauded in the concert halls of the world. His sudden death at the age of 53 is generally ascribed to cholera, but some attribute it to suicide.

Although perennially popular with concert audiences across the world, Tchaikovsky's music was often dismissed by American critics in the early and mid-20th century as being vulgar and lacking in elevated thought. By the end of the 20th century, however, Tchaikovsky's status as a significant composer was generally regarded as secure.

Compositions by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky appear on

Pictures at an Exhibition: Reflected and Refracted

Composer

Unique orchestral arrangements of Pictures at an Exhibition, Gliere's Coloratura Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra, Glinka's The Nighingale, and two movements from Tchaikovsky's The Seasons.

Music Of John Lewis

Composer

John Lewis' music combines romantic and classical, blues and jazz. These pieces were originally written for the Modern Jazz Quartet, and here they live on, freshly interpreted by Alan Lee (vibraharp), Jo Abbott (piano), Ivan Rosa (bass) and Ben Hendry (drums).

Golden Sounds

Composer

Ian King returns to the studio once more to enthrall us with the golden sounds of his tuba. Featuring works by Falla, Corelli, Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy, Ravel, Gershwin and much more!

The 12 Days of Christmas

Composer

The Choir Of Ormond College here sings several carols long held in affection around the world but adds to these with newer works accompanied by renowned Australian pianist, Stephen McIntyre.

Pictures

Composer

In Pictures, Ian Holtham leads the listener through a showcase of Romantic piano masterpieces, including Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition' and Schumann's 'Carnaval'.

Torquing Points

Composer

An exciting juxtaposition of 20th century Australian and 19th century European musical styles. Gordon Kerry's 'Torquing Points for String Quartet' and Mark Pollard's 'The Quick or the Dead' are approachable and lyrical pieces that fit well with this CD's classical works.

Miscellany for Flute and Harp

Composer

Throughout history composers have been drawn to the combination of the flute and harp, from the shepherd’s pan pipes and Orphean lyre of ancient Arcadia, to the French court of Marie-Antoinette and Mozart’s duo concerto.

Original Transcriptions for Piano

Composer

Piano transcriptions as you have never heard them before. This disc by Australian pianist-composer Cameron Roberts is a tour-de-force of piano virtuosity and originality.

Tchaikovsky Concerto / Shostakovich Song of the Forest

Composer

The New Monash Orchestra, under the direction of Andre de Quadros, joins pianist Yuri Rozum, the Monash Women's Choir and VIVE VOCE in an exciting all-Russian program featuring Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto and the rarely heard Song of the Forests by Shostakovich - his first major work for choir and orchestra.