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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (Complete); Swan Lake Suite

37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 22, 2006
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$15.15 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (Complete); Swan Lake Suite + George Balanchine's The Nutcracker + The Nutcracker
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Editorial Reviews


Disc: 1
1. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Overture
2. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 1. Scene 1. No. 1. The Christmas Tree
3. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 1. Scene 1. No. 2. March
4. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 1. Scene 1. No. 3. Little Galop. Entrance of the Guests
5. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 1. Scene 1. No. 4. Drosselmeyer's entrance. Dance Scene. Distribution of Presents
6. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 1. Scene 1. No. 5. Scene. Grandfather's Dance
7. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 1. Scene 1. No. 6. Guests depart. Children retire to bed. Magis spell begins
8. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 1. Scene 1. No. 7. Battle between Nutcracker and Mouse King. Nutcracker wins battle and is tran
9. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 1. Scene 2. No. 8. Fir Tree Forest in Winter
10. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 1. Scene 2. No. 9. Waltz of the Snowflakes
Disc: 2
1. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 2. No. 10. The Castle. Kingdom of Sweets
2. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 2. No. 11. Clara and the Nutcracker appear
3. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 2. No. 12. Divertissement. Chocolate (Spanish Dance)
4. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 2. No. 12. Divertissement. Coffee (Arabian Dance)
5. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 2. No. 12. Divertissement. Tea (Chinese Dance)
6. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 2. No. 12. Divertissement. Trepak (Russian Dance)
7. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 2. No. 12. Divertissement. Dance of the Mirlitons (Reed Pipes)
8. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 2. No. 12. Divertissement. Mother Gigogne and the Tumblers
9. Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71: Act 2. No. 13. Waltz of the Flowers
10. The Swan Lake, suite, Op. 20a: Scene
See all 17 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Utah Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Maurice de Abravanel
  • Composer: Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (August 22, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Vanguard Classics
  • ASIN: B000FFL33I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,565 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Enamorato on November 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD
As the last of Tchaikovsky's ballets, "The Nutcracker" features some of the most interesting harmonic and rhythmic textures of the Romantic era. It's a popular subject for recording. At present, we have versions by Valery Gergiev, Charles Mackerras, Antal Dorati, Eugene Ormandy, Andre Previn, Richard Bonynge, and many others. All are fine in their own right, but the best recordings of the ballet tend to be among the most overlooked: Mariss Janson's atmospheric take with the London Philharmonic, Arthur Rodzinski's somewhat quirky rendering with the Royal Philharmonic, and John Lanchbery's theatrically insightful performance with the Philharmonia Orchestra (the complete recording currently unavailable in the U.S., but an almost-complete selection of highlights [including Lanchbery's orchestration of the English Dance cut from the original production] is available for a steal). Perhaps the most underrated recording of "Nutcracker" is this 1961 account from Greek-born, Swiss-American Jewish conductor Maurice Abravanel with the Utah Symphony Orchestra. Yes, you read correctly: the Utah Symphony Orchestra.

Despite the lack of cachet of the orchestra, this "Nutcracker" is exemplary: clear, warm and brimming with energy. The Utah musicians produce a beautiful sound that works delightfully on a dramatic level. The first time I heard this recording, I was completely blown away. It is so free of pretense, it feels like one is hearing this music for the first time.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Grandma Ga-Ga on May 31, 2009
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My 4-year old granddaughter asked for the "whole version of the Ther Nutcracker Ballet, because all of the songs are not on Fantasia". Well, how could I not send this to her? She loves it and listens to it every night before bed.I listened to parts of the CD and it is lovely, much better than some of the newer recordings. This would be a very worthwhile gift for any toddler or adult who likes classical music, ballet or just music in general.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mark Schneider on April 24, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This recording of the Utah Symphony is GREAT if you are looking for danceable tempi for the "Nutcracker"- not too fast and no dragging parts. The Grand Pas is practically perfect and Snow Scene is wonderful. I have over a dozen recordings of this ballet and this is far the best- no need to slow down or speed up any parts!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paxart on July 18, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Don't be put off that this Nutcracker is played by the Utah Symphony. It is first class in every way in the glorious sound that Vanguard lavished on the orchestra.

Maurice Abravanel was one of the most significant theater conducters of the 20th century. You can feel immediately that he grasps the balletic nature as well as the symphonic majesty of Tchaikovsky's score. The interpretation is brisk, light, nimble, well balanced and masterfully cohesive. Right from the beginning of the overture you will understand what I mean! The playing of the Utah Symphony is transparent, clean, and full of color. You can tell they enjoy playing it!

I bought this recording years ago on Vanguard Everyman LPs. The CD transfer is excellent. Grab the it while you can still get it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By zerosykess on February 1, 2012
Format: Audio CD
This fantastical work is fully brought to life in this recording. A magical performance at the right tempo per piece. Good job Utah Symphony! Good acoustics and recording production. A complete recording of this ballet is the duty of every true classical connoissuer! This one fills the bill with the extra Swan Lake! What a great buy! Thanks to Tchaikovsky for having lived on this planet and sharing his talent!
Good day !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L. Ahern on October 14, 2014
Format: Audio CD
A long time ago, after I had nothing to listen to because the Beatles broke up, I heard a Christmas album in my parents room. I knew the "Waltz of the Flowers" but had never before noticed the fancy flute work. (I had just started learning that instrument.) I was mesmerized and immediately started listening to an album my folks had of Nutcracker selections done by the Boston Pops. My dad introduced me to the Reel to Reel player in the living room and this performance of the complete ballet. I bogarted the living room in the afternoons for months seemingly, alternating one side of the tape one day and the other side the next. My favorite part, flute player that I was becoming, was the battle with the mice.

When I finally bought my own LP of the Nutcracker, it was the Suisse Romande with Ansermet. I have seen favorable reviews of that performance, but I just didn't like it. There were actually some big boo boos that angered me.

I finally found an LP of this performance and wore it out again.

I owe a lot of my love of classical music and especially Tchaikovsky to this recording. It was a magical transformation
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ruth E. on June 16, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Always loved classical music and this CD did not disappoint. I downloaded this music to my computer at work for those stressful times.
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Format: Audio CD
I recently picked up the inexpensive Bach Guild download collection of Tchaikovsky works, largely because of the bargain price (2.99 at the moment, for over 7 hours of music), and as a result I found myself able to enjoy some performances I've not run across in the past.

One of which is represented here on this CD, with Maurice Abravanel leading the Utah Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a very respectable performance of the Nutcracker, one of my favorite pieces of music.

The Bach Guild collection below is mostly made up of complete performances of the Nutcracker (as here) plus Swan Lake ballets, along with symphonies 4-6, the 1812 overture, Romeo and Juliet overture and Capriccio Italien, Op. 45, the first Piano Concerto, and the Serenade For Strings In C, Op. 48.

It's a great value.

Big Tchaikovsky Box
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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (Complete); Swan Lake Suite
This item: Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (Complete); Swan Lake Suite
Price: $15.15
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com

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