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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
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Top Customer Reviews
Recorded sound is very lively and sparkling, bass well rounded, all instruments are clearly audible, without excessive reverb. I will play this very often, it is a perfect medicine against an upcoming winter depression. Well done Sir Simon!Read more ›
Bottom line, this set goes right to my keeper shelf. It will sit nicely, right next to the older Antal Dorati readings (one in SACD with the LSO, the other in red book PCM with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra), plus the newer SACD set from Bolshoi under Vedernikov. Each of those sets was good enough to savor and savor again; this reading meets those high precedents.
Rattle gives the Berliners their head, and each department of the band is simply excellent, in the warmest, most congenial way. If you want your Nutcracker music to engender a smile, above all, then this is a set you simply must consider. Tempos are mainstream, yet often relaxed; matched to equally flexible, relaxed phrasing that seems to sing the whole varied drama of this story into vivid, colorful, imaginative being. Nor do Rattle and Berlin stint on the sparkle needed to make this a glittering night at the (typically, holiday season) ballet, indeed. So, be sure: This set has plenty of sparkle. Oodles of sparkle. Even the mood changing music that shifts us from one scene's focus to another is abundantly theatrical, not a boring note in the whole business.Read more ›
I'm not so sure it's a very "Russian" performance or even that it would translate to supporting a full ballet performance but it's very cinematic which I'm sure sounds pretentious but it just moves along so well and the Philharmoniker is just really on their game. The CD version has a warmth to it that reminds me of the Chandos sound and gobs of detail which makes this Nutcracker that much more compelling.
It is swooningly beautiful as sheer playing, and EMI helps out with a big sound and close-up miking of the Berliners' world-class solo players. But at the same time the storytelling is rather generic, and of springy balletic rhythms there's not much evidence. You are more likely to sit in admiration than jump to your feet and dance. Unlike the highly critical three-star reviewer, who makes all the right points about Rattle's dramatic blandness, I feel willing to forgive the moments of fussy cautiousness. Here and there some numbers fall really flat -- the opening Overture and March have no spark at all. But they don't augur the future. The reading gains energy as it goes along, and if you love Tchaikovsky's orchestration, which is at its most sophisticated in the Nutcracker, the advances in recorded sound since the days of classic ballet conductors like Dorati and Ansermet have been enormous. Their lovely recordings cannot compete for sonic depth and impact.
In the end, young listeners coming to this most delightful of childhood musical treats will be well satisfied, and although old grocery store cats will grumble, Rattle has done something beautiful.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent product, I would buy this product again an I will recommend it, very useful, variable, and can be place anywhere.Published on May 28, 2014 by Rick
It is always good fun to romanise . . . stuff. Not every emperor on the Palatine could be an Augustus or Trajan or Aurelian `Restitutor Orbis'. Take the Berlin Philharmonic. Read morePublished on March 20, 2014 by Bernard Michael O'Hanlon
This CD's music is just OK. I can't say much more than that.
Just a mediocre rendering of a Tchaikovsky favorite.
This music CD was exactly what my youngest son had expected. He enjoyed the music on that music CD, and there were a few songs that he remembers from movies like Tom and Jerry: A... Read morePublished on July 12, 2013 by M Barker