Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowski

of these articles describes the Russian composer Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowski; other meanings under Tschaikowski (term clarifying).
Pjotr Tschaikowski
Pjotr Tschaikowski

Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowski Tondokument ? / License (Russian ПётрИльичЧайковский, wiss. Transliteration Pëtr Il'ič Čajkovskij, German: Peter Tschaikowski; * 25. April/7. May 1840 in Kamsko Wotkinski Sawod, today Tschaikowski; † 25. October/ 6. November 1893 in sank Petersburg - to the different data S. Note. down on the side!) was a Russian composer.

Table of contents


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The early years

Pjotr Iljitsch Tschaikowski was son of a mining engineer and its second Mrs. Alexandra Andrejewna. From this marriage the children Nikolaj, Alexandra, Ippolit and the twins Anatol and Modest followed beside Pjotr. The musical inclinations of the family were not pronounced much. NeverthelessTschaikowski kept on its desire four years long to piano instruction. The first music, which coined/shaped it, came from a mechanical piano, which its father from Petersburg along-brought - who was not even five years old Peter enthusiastically. As his nut/mother it for the first timeon a piano to play he left, could scales already a piece sequels, which he had heard. The family was surprised at the talent, that proved Peter. Therefore the father decided to adjust Maria Markowna who gave piano instruction to its son. But Peter played already soon betteras its piano teacher of the sheet. One evening played the 6-jährige Peter a Polish officer a work of Chopin, which it had heard before a half year of it with a midnight meal. The officer was so inspired that he Peter highly into air main headerand his small head kissed. Since parents wanted that its son in the government service made career, visited Tschaikowski from 1850 to 1859 the right school in sank Petersburg and was afterwards in the Ministry of Justice active. A musical advanced training during the time it granted itself alone in privatePiano hours with a pianist emigrated to Russia, Rudolf Kündinger, which noted over Tschaikowski:

„It was talentiert certainly very much, possessed a fine hearing and a good memory, from this one could not conclude however yet that from him once a large pianist, let alone a famous composerwill could (…) The only one, with which it bound my attention in somewhat higher measure, were its improvisations. “

In one point Kündinger kept quite: Tschaikowski did not become a pianist, because but those did not hand to out altogether eight years piano instruction (as a child and as a beginning music student) notits piano concerts of others were uraufgeführt by approximate.

One assumes influencing control on Tschaikowski also with an Italian singing teacher named Piccioli, a vain Dandy, which sought to taper itself with artificial strain of the face skin and the black-colored hair. By brook and Mozart held these nothing, knew themselvesbut outstanding with the Italian opera out. Tschaikowski was friendly with it in this time.

purposeful to the property nothing

although the official status Tschaikowski a good getting along offered, which him made possible to follow to all kinds of expensive entertainments became it to 1861 of this life überdrüssig. It, tothere only over moderate musical knowledge ordered, took the music study up a step, which did not meet with all family members on understanding. His uncle Peter Petrowitsch commentated:

„This Peter. This nothing groove goat Peter! Now it exchanged the jurisprudence with the Dudelsack! “

and its brother Modestnoted later in his memories:

„Whether the supersaturation had suddenly awaked in it - perhaps under the impression of any us remained unknown event, or whether it crept gradually into its soul, white none, because Peter Iljitsch have themselves by thoseheavy hours all alone struggled through. Its environment noticed only then somewhat of it, when the transformation was already carried out. “

1862 occurred Tschaikowski Peter citizen conservatoire created by Anton ruby stone . Ruby stone personally instructed it in composition and instrumentation. Tschaikowski received theoretical instructionwith the Polish composer Nikolai Zaremba. With large determination it tried to catch up the missing knowledge in things composition.

„I had already written you that I had begun to learn the theory of the music quite successfully. (…) I am afraid only for my Charakterlosigkeit;at the end my inertia will triumph, if however, then I do not promise you that from me some more will become. Fortunately it is not yet too late. “

it wrote in a letter of 4. (16.) December to its sister.

Nicolaj Rubinstein
1866 it

changed Nicolaj ruby stoneto Moscow. With Anton of ruby stone brother Nikolaj Tschaikowski found a lodging. Nikolaj ruby stone let the musician now without means live with itself, replaced its threadbare suit by new clothing and arranged for it a place as a lecturer at the Muscovite conservatoire.

In Moscow the first successful developedCompositions, so also the Ouvertüre Romeo and Julia, which the composer Mili Balakirew had lively. To criticism at its works Tschaikowski reacted at the time most sensitively: It burned the operas of the Wojewode (1869 without the hoped for resonance uraufgeführt ) and Undine (performance rejected)in reaction to the failure immediately. Numerous certifications prove that it became increasingly depressive and neurotisch. One assumes that he was homosexual and this secret for it was a mental load. Nevertheless it would have given 1886 nearly another idiom in its life: After itknow the singer Désirée Artôt had learned, weihte he its father in to want to marry it. From however nothing became since the Artôt gave one month later to a Spanish occupation colleague the yes-word.

on own feet

Tschaikowski took 1871 off with ruby stone. Itfurther conservatoire dedicated itself to its training activity at the Muscovite and composed some operas, which encountered divided resonance. The premiere of its opera „the Opritschnik “(bodyguard) 1874 prepared Tschaikowski soul agonies. It wrote its pupil Alexander Tanejw:

„The opera is so bad that I it with thatSamples not to bear knew and ran away, in order to hear no more clay/tone; in the conception was me zumute, as if I had to sink before shame (…)“

In the time developed also the first three symphonies, in addition the music to Schneewittchen and the ballet swan lake, which was uraufgeführt 1877 - and fell through. In its free time Tschaikowski different cities of Europe, among them also Neapel and Paris bereiste. An attendance of the first performance of the ring of the Nibelungen in Bayreuth caused highest displeasure. Tschaikowski wrote its brother Modest:

„ThoseAuftürmung of the most complicated and ausgetüfteltsten harmonies, which colorlessness of the singing on the stage, which are enough for Monologe and dialogues, which darkness of the auditorium infinitely, which absence of any poetry, any interest of the action - everything that fatigued my nerves up to last degrees. Thus that is it, which erstrebt the reform of Wagners! In former times one was endeavored to please the people by the music - nowadays however one torments her. “

In Bayreuth however Tschaikowski became for the first time consciously that its call extended as a composer beyond the borders of Russia.

A bitter disappointment

the young Tschaikowski

from the Muscovite years for its life most important composition is that 1. Piano concert OI. 23 in b-Moll. Tschaikowski had written it 1874 and equal its friend Nikolaj ruby stone had played, to which it should be also dedicated. The vibrationover the reaction of ruby stone it was so lasting that Tschaikowski described still three years later in a letter to its Mäzenin Nadeschda of Meck:

„I played the first sentence. Not a word, not a remark… I found Kraft to play the concert to the end completely. Further silence.“Now?” I asked, when I rose from the piano. There a river from words poured ruby stone mouth. Gently first, as if he wanted to collect Kraft, and finally breaking out by the force of the Jupiter clay to. My concert is worthlessly, completely unspielbar. The passages are so in fragments, unzusammenhängend and poorly it composes that it is not even done with improvements. The composition is badly, trivial, vulgär. Here and there I would have stibitzt from others. Perhaps or two sides are worth to be saved; the remaining must destroyed or completelyagain to be composed. … “

ruby stone suggested revising the concert completely. Tschaikowski changed not a note, tied the score to the package and sent this to the conductor and pianist Hans von Bülow. This did not have to object anything to the work and sat during its premiere 1875 in bad clay/tone at the piano. The resonance at the public was overwhelming. In the moment the concert began its inexorable triumphant advance.

the music critic

at 1871 began Tschaikowski additionally an activity as a music critic. Its criticisms are sometimes self-willed thereby, in theirSummary almost astonishing. Thus he meant over

  • Johann Sebastian brook: „I can probably say that I play brook gladly, because playing of a good joint is maintaining, but I see a large genius in it not (…)“ (1879)
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: „I am not bent to verkündigen the guiding principle from the Beethoven infallibility to and if I deny also not in smallest its great historical importance, then consider I nevertheless unconditional and natural being astonished at each of its works inappropriate. But it is incontestable that Beethoven in someits symphonischen works a height reached, on which no or nevertheless nearly no other composer beside him stands. “ (1871)
  • Charles Gounod: „Gounods artistic work is for me at all a mystery. Certainly the fist with large championship, those was composed, if also not ingenious,nevertheless characteristic betrays. But everything that it wrote after that fist, is weakly, talentless (…). “ (1878)
  • Franz Liszt: „Its compositions leave me cold; they tell more poetic intentions as genuine creative Kraft, to more color as form, more outside gloss than internal content, thuscompletely contrary to Robert Schumann (…). “ (1881)

it can remain here only with examples. Other one again, e.g. Hector Berlioz, Georges Bizet, Alexander Borodin, EDP pool of broadcasting corporations Grieg („better than Johannes Brahms) and first of all Mikhail Glinka („a giantin the Mäntelchen of the Dilettantismus) became with praise überschüttet.

a fatal Liaison

1877 was the year of the heaviest internal crisis of the composer. It went rushes into a marriage with that to it hardly admitted Antonina Miljukowa. It was agreed upon that both a marriagein sibling solidarity would practice. The relationship lasted not completely three months. Already after three weeks of the domestic Zusammenseins Tschaikowski crept at night to the Moskwa and waded into the deep water, however later again and explained its complete Durchtnässtsein with an inadvertent fall returnedinto the river. In a later letter Tschaikowski confesses:

„The wedding was carried out, I with my wife alone had hardly remained and recognized hardly that the fate had inseparably connected us, there understood I suddenly that I not even friendship, but in the wahrsten sense of theWord felt aversions to it. Death seemed to me the only way out, but suicide was not applicable. “

The arguments between the pair and the adjustments on the part of Miliukowa after the separation were a nightmare for Tschaikowski. Nevertheless the marriage is never divorced.

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A Gönnerin

in that time intensified itself its acquaintance with one its admire inside, Nadeschda Filaretowna of Meck (1831-1894). She was the rich widow of the Industriellen Karl von Meck , the large sense of art emigrated to Russia proved themselves and in the rest of a further mark thanMäzenin late famous composers become out-did: It supported Claude Debussy a time long financially. Tschaikowski and Mrs. von Meck maintained intimate pen pal shank over years. The composer was however always mindful not to meet Mrs. von Meck. As it 1879 nevertheless tooa volatile meeting with a Kutschenfahrt, evaded Tschaikowski it came and did not address it not. Mrs. von Meck exposed an annuity of 6000 roubles to Tschaikowski, which made him more independent. Nevertheless there were financial bottlenecks again and again. Rumors, it has because of his sexual adjustmentHush money to pay must, holds themselves until today.

Tschaikowski experienced years

of the work promotion also by its French publishers Mackar and Jurgenson. Starting from 1879 among other things the works the virgin of Orleans, Capriccio Italy, the second piano concert OI developed. 44 inG major (it was uraufgeführt with the pianist Sergej Tanejew in Moscow), the concert Fantasie for piano and orchestra the opera Mazeppa and the Manfred symphony. Tschaikowskis most well-known opera, the opera Eugen Onegin became to 29. March 1879 in the Muscovite Maly theatre uraufgeführt.

1887 discovered Tschaikowski its talentas a conductor. Concert tours followed by Europe, among other things also in Berlin, Prague and London, later among other things in Dresden, Cologne and Frankfurt/Main. A foreign tour 1891 led it to New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Starting from 1888 developedthe fifth symphony (in e-Moll), the ballet Dornrö, the Ouvertüre Hamlet, the opera Pique lady and the ballet Nussknacker.

In the year of its death 1893 Tschaikowski composed (unfinished) the third piano concert (in E flat major) and the sixth symphony Pathétique (in h-Moll), their premiere to 28. October it led.

sudden death

Tschaikowski died surprisingly to 6. November 1893 at the age of 53 years in a village near Moscow. Few days before it had directed still its Pathétique. The cause of death could not until today clearly clarifiedbecome. In addition two opinions are represented. After an infected itself Tschaikowski with at that time in pc. Petersburg grassierenden Cholera, when he (according to statements of its brother Modest) drank a glass unboiled water from inadvertence in a restaurant. Modest Tschaikowski noted later:

„Its soul tendencywas in the last days neither exclusively merry nor particularly pressed. In circles of its intimate friends it was lively and contently, in society of strangers as usual nervously and excited and later exhausted and withered. Nothing gave cause to think of approaching death. “

Thoseother opinion assumes that, Tschaikowski poisoned itself, after he of one „honour court “– consisting of members of the pc. Peter citizen right school, at which it had studied – had been requested to take itself the life. Otherwise one becomes the Zaren over its Homosexualitätinform and so a scandal about the right school bring.



  • 1. Symphony g-moll op.13 of winter dreams (1866)
  • 2. Symphony C-moll op.17 smallRussian (1872)
  • 3. Symphony D major op.29 Polish (1875)
  • 4. Sinfonie f-moll op.36 (1877)
  • Manfred, Sinfonie in vier Bildern nach Byrons dramatischerSeal h-moll OI. 58 (1886)
  • 5. Symphony e-moll op.64 (1888)
  • 6. Symphony h-moll op.74 Pathétique (1893)



  • of the Wojewode
  • Undine
  • of the Opritschnik
  • Wakula, forge (second version as the Pantöffelchen)
  • Eugen Onegin
  • the virgin of Orleans
  • Mazeppa
  • the Zauberin
  • Pique lady
  • Jolanthe

of orchestra works

of piano works

  • Scherzo à la Russian 1867
  • Valse Caprice 1868
  • the seasons OI. 37b (1876)
  • different one short pieces how Impromptus, tome, Polkas, Mazurken

child album

piano notes and hearing samples for

morning prayer, winter morning, Pferdchen play, mummy, march of the play soldiers, illness of the doll, funeral of the doll, tome, the new doll, Mazurka, Russian song, a farmer flax play Zieharmonika, Kamarinskaja (Russian people dance), Polka, Italian Liedchen, old FrenchLiedchen, German Liedchen, Neopolitani Liedchen, Ammenmärchen, the witch Baba Jaga, fantasy, the song of the lark, song of the lyra box man, in the church.

list of works


  • Edward guards: Tschaikowsky, life and work. Stuttgart 1986
  • Everett helmet: Peter I. Tschaikowsky. Rowohlt,Reinbek 1976
  • Iwan Knorr: Peter Tschaikowsky. Harmony, Berlin 1900
  • Klaus man: Symphonie pathétique - a Tschaikowsky novel. Rowohlt, Reinbek 1981
  • Karl Hruby: Peter Tschaikowsky: A monographic study. Sailor successor, Leipzig 1902
  • Vladimir people off: Tchaïkovsky. Julliard, of Paris 1983


Tschaikowski was perpetuated even on a modern Russian coin (from gold).

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note: Double data are first of all indicated in accordance with Julian calendar, which applied in Russia up to the October Revolution 1917, secondly in accordance with in the west since that 16. /18. Jh. used Gregorian calendar. See also: Wikipedia: Name conventions/cyrillic
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