Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Fans of the "Nutcracker Suite" who are looking for more of the same type of music need look no further than the complete ballet, which contains almost four times as much music as the eight-movement suite. The suite includes much of the most striking music, but the entire ballet is a lovely, lyrical piece that should appeal to fans of graceful Romantic orchestral music. Mikhail Pletnev, leading the Russian National Orchestra and the Vesna Children's Choir, delivers an elegant account of the score. The orchestra plays with dazzling precision and a warm, round tone, and beautifully conveys the predominant mood of magical, gossamer delicacy. Although this is certainly music ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Fans of the "Nutcracker Suite" who are looking for more of the same type of music need look no further than the complete ballet, which contains almost four times as much music as the eight-movement suite. The suite includes much of the most striking music, but the entire ballet is a lovely, lyrical piece that should appeal to fans of graceful Romantic orchestral music. Mikhail Pletnev, leading the Russian National Orchestra and the Vesna Children's Choir, delivers an elegant account of the score. The orchestra plays with dazzling precision and a warm, round tone, and beautifully conveys the predominant mood of magical, gossamer delicacy. Although this is certainly music with which the orchestra is intimately familiar, there is nothing routine about their playing. Some of the more passionate moments, such as the first scene in the forest, don't quite summon the surging grandeur the music requires, but otherwise the piece moves with plenty of drama. It's in Pletnev's attention to details that the performance really stands out. The scintillating, jewel-like Overture sets the tone of the performers' alert, attentive approach to the ballet. The swirl of strings rising from the cellos to the violins' heights that punctuates the March really does seem to swirl around the listener's head. The use of a children's rather than an adult choir in the "Waltz of the Snowflakes" is especially effective. Ondine's sound is immaculate, full, and nicely detailed. Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra are veterans with Tchaikovsky; they have recorded the composer's two other ballets and the complete symphonies, so listeners looking for more have plenty to pursue.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/27/2011
  • Label: Oehms
  • UPC: 761195118023
  • Catalog Number: 1180
  • Sales rank: 87,351

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Nutcracker, ballet, Op. 71 - E.T.A. Hoffmann & Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (93:04)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mikhail Pletnev Primary Artist
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Pletnev Ondine

    When I was asked to review this new CD recording of Tchaikovsky's complete "Nutcracker" Ballet, my first reaction was: "Oh, no! Not another version! Why, when the market is already saturated?" Truly, Ondine¿s new offering faces fierce opposition from incumbent versions by conductors such as Ashkenazy, Fedoseyev, Gergiev, Lenard (bargain label), Ozawa, Rattle, and Vedernikov, to say nothing of (presumably remastered) older versions by Dorati, Fistoulari, and Rodzinski! What's a balletomane to do?
    Unless you want the "Nutcracker" ballet performed by your favorite orchestra or conductor, this version is as fine as any, and certainly the Ondine version offers an excellent performance, recorded in startling clarity with splendid stereo sound.
    Recommended, if you're in the market for a new version.
    Ted Wilks

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2011

    Hot New Nutcracker

    Each Christmas season seems to produce at least one new Nutcracker. This year is no exception: Pletnev and his redoubtable Russian National Orchestra have just released their version of the complete ballet. In the past, Pletnev has been associated with some controversial performances of familiar repertory. Witness his supercharged Russian overture collections or his unorthodox, even radical traversal of the Beethoven symphonies. In the case of this particular score, Pletnev and his players offer a traditional well played and paced reading noteworthy for its drama. Are there more refined interpretations? Perhaps. Nonetheless, this new recording on Ondine is well worth acquiring if only for its lifelike sonics and vivid color palette.

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  • Posted November 21, 2011

    The Russian Classic

    Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, on this CD by the Russian National Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev, is a timeless classic played with extreme clarity. There is little audible room for artistic reinterpretations in this version, and the music is played unbelievably clearly with the high level of quality, as preserved by the Russian National Orchestra. The recording itself is very sharp, and the CD, in total, is very enjoyable. I recommend this CD to lovers of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece, The Nutcracker.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews