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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker - Complete Ballet CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 170 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: TCHAIKOVSKY,P.I.
Title: NUTCRACKER-COMP
Street Release Date: 10/20/1998
Domestic
Genre: XMAS CLASSICAL INSTRUMENTAL

Amazon.com

Although Gergiev is highly experienced in the theater, and he is leading an opera-ballet orchestra, this is definitely a concert Nutcracker. Tempos are brisk, textures streamlined, and dancers might have a good deal of difficulty keeping up with the music. For us home listeners, though, this is a superb way to hear Tchaikovsky's complete score and to remind ourselves of how much good music isn't included in the familiar suite. Gergiev justifies his reputation as an interpreter and as an orchestra leader, getting amazingly precise playing from the ensemble. Best of all, Philips has somehow crammed more than 81 minutes of superb sound onto this disc, making it a remarkable bargain. Very highly recommended! --Leslie Gerber
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Kirov Orchestra and Choir
  • Conductor: Valery Gergiev
  • Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD (October 20, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B00000A1GL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,128 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There are many fine complete Nutcracker recordings available, and I own a few of them. This recording by The Kirov Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev is simply the best, no contest. Why? For starters, the orchestral playing is outstanding. Every detail is heard, you hear nuances never revealed before. The woodwinds bubble,... the brass are assertive yet smooth,... the strings are lovely and lush;... in all, first-rate playing from a superb Russian orchestra that has this music in their blood and plays it with spirit and total enjoyment. Tempi are brisk, but never feel rushed. The sound is in the demonstration class. The whole ballet is contained on one CD which is quite remarkable. I judge an outstanding performance and recording by several factors, which include tears of joy welling up in my eyes along with goosebumps. This Nutcracker provided me an ample supply of both. If you must only own one Nutcracker, this is it. Superlative recommendation.
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Format: Audio CD
Never before has the complete Nutcracker ballet been presented on one cd. Right there, is a perfect reason to buy this right away. Beyond that, you're sure to be amazed as I was at the sound quality of this recording. I was astonished at how live the recording sounded. My mouth hung agape through most of my first listen (no kidding)! It's as if I was trasported into a great hall hearing the clarity, wieght and purity of the music in person. Astounding!
Further, the entire piece seems to have been imbued with some new life force that makes it demand your attention. It's more than the clarity of sound, it's the soul and love behind it. You can hear that, and it makes an indellible impression!
If you love the ballet, music in general or are an audiophile, you simply can't be without this astonishing recording. Pop it in the cd player and prepare to experience first hand some real life, Christmas magic!
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Format: Audio CD
Bravo! Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra have again demonstrated that they are masters of ballet music (after all, it was the Kirov/Mariinsky that gave The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and the 1895 version of Swan Lake their world premieres). Compared to other recordings of this ballet, such as Mark Ermler's (Royal Opera House Orchestra) Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker or Richard Bonynge's (National Philharmonic Orchestra) Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker / Offenbach: Le Papillon, the tempo of Gergiev's Nutcracker appears to be too fast on first hearing; but it doesn't take long to get used to it. Once you get past that initial shock, this recording is very exciting to listen to. Gergiev conducts with the usual gusto. The Kirov Orchestra's sound is actually more refined here than in many of its other recordings. This may owe to the fact that the performance was recorded in the studio, not at the Mariinsky, which doesn't seem to have good acoustics; or that maybe the Kirov musicians have better instruments now; or that the Philips engineers have finally improved their recording techniques. Though both Bonynge's and Ermler's performance have more danceable tempos, they lack the expressive power that Gergiev is able to generate. In addition, this is a 1-CD recording of the entire ballet (only the repeat in the Grandfather Dance has been left out--not a big deal in my opinion), which makes it especially attractive to get. But for whatever reason, get this recording without delay!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have heard rival recordings (Previn, Ashkenzy, Dorati, Ormandy) and they have their good points. I have seen the ballet. I thought I knew this score backwards and forwards, then I heard Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra on this recording and realized that I had been missing a lot. This recording is almost perfect. Many other reviewers have complained about how fast the tempos seem and how they couldn't be danced to it but they are wrong about this. I bought the complete score (Dover just recently issued it) and Gergiev's tempos are pretty much on the mark and match what the score indicates they should be (for example, The score indicates that No 3 (the "Galop of the Children" - it's right after the march) should be played at 168 beats per minute. That's fast but that's the way Tchaikovsky wanted it and Gergiev follows the composer's tempo markings throughout. He is even a little slower than indicated on a couple of numbers. Tchaikovsky's orchestrations are masterful and the Philips engineers have managed to make the listener hear most every little detail in this score. For me this was most noticed in the Snowflake Waltz and Mother Ginger sections. One of the pitfalls of such a detailed recording is that it tends to blow small flaws up. The trumpets in this recording seem to be a bit harsh and, unfortunately come across as the weakest part of this fine orchestra. Fianlly, this is a recording that is meant to be listened to, not danced to. I know that sounds silly but all these people saying that it can't be danced to need to realize that this interpretation is not meant to be danced, it is meant to be heard as a continuous, symphonic piece (and the one disc helps this tremendously). Gergiev and his forces convey all the charm, subtlety, drama and playfulness of this score masterfully. If you want to hear a wonderful interpretation of "The Nutcracker" then this is the CD for you.
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