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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Simon Rattle

Album Summary

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
Conductor Ensemble
  • >
Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Philharmonie, Berlin (12/29/2009-12/31/2009).


A great performance of a classic work
The bad news: a poor booklet essay, which claims that Tchaikovsky's opera Iolanta (the work originally paired with The Nutcracker, as a double bill at the premiere) is based on the same source as the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta Iolanthe--which is simply not true. The notes also claim that at the end of the ballet, Clara wakes up to discover it was all just a dream--again, not according to Petipa's original scenario; the "just a dream" interpretation is characteristic of many (but not all) modern productions. One could also complain that a little over 80 minutes of music is spread across two discs, with no filler; although at least the disc break comes after Act 1. The good news: the performance is excellent, striking a near-ideal balance between lucidity of instrumental textures and Romantic warmth. Some episodes, such as the appearance of toy instruments in Act 1, and the "battle scene," are probably as well realized as they have ever been on a complete recording of the score. The sound is also very good. Highly recommended (but turn to other sources if you want to read up on the work).
Submitted on 01/26/11 by Roland Graeme 
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Works Details

>Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilyich : Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Notes: Philharmonie, Berlin (12/29/2009-12/31/2009)
  • Running Time: 81 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1892