Tchaikovsky's Greatest Hit: The Ultimate Nutcracker

Tchaikovsky's Greatest Hit: The Ultimate Nutcracker


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Tchaikovsky's Greatest Hit: The Ultimate Nutcracker

The Nutcracker isn't just Tchaikovsky's greatest hit -- it's one of the greatest hits of all classical music. This compilation offers three wildly different interpretations of the popular ballet suite, plus a few more bonus excerpts. For purists, the Philadelphia Orchestra -- who also played this music in the Disney film Fantasia -- are led by Eugene Ormandy in the original symphonic version. This is a sensitive and colorful reading of Tchaikovsky's melodious miniatures (the recorded sound, though acceptable, is not quite up to the high level of the musicians' performance). The remainder of the disc offers enjoyable and surprising reinterpretations of the Nutcracker. Who would have expected it to come so charmingly to life in the fingers of the Modern Mandolin Quartet? These virtuosos bring such a variety of tone color to their performance that you won't even miss Tchaikovsky's lush orchestration. Arrangements for four pianos of the "Dance of the Reed Flutes" and the "Waltz of the Flowers" close the program, but what makes this release an essential holiday purchase is the witty revision of the suite by Spike Jones and his City Slickers from 1945. If you don't know Jones's topsy-turvy musical style, you're in for a treat here as the bandleader retells the Nutcracker with new lyrics and narration, jazzy touches added to the dances, and comical sound effects that will forever change the way you hear Tchaikovsky's score. And if Tchaikovsky's Greatest Hit doesn't satiate your appetite for holiday sweets, be aware that the complete Nutcracker ballet score (of which Valery Gergiev's recording with the Kirov Orchestra is particularly scintillating) offers three times as much music, all of it just as delightful.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/26/2004
Label: Rca
UPC: 0828766282122
catalogNumber: 62821

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Modern Mandolin Quartet   Ensemble
Spike Jones   Conductor,Musician
George Robert   Piano
Eugene Ormandy   Conductor
John Imholz   Mandolin,Mandocello
Mike Marshall   Mandolin
Dana Rath   Mandolin
Philadelphia Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Spike Jones & His City Slickers   Musician
Susan Scott   Musician
William Smith   Celeste
City Slickers   Ensemble
William McLeish Smith   Celeste
Paul Binkley   Guitar,Mandolin,Mandola
First Piano Quartet   Ensemble
Edward Edson   Piano
Frank Mittler   Piano
Susan Scott   Vocals
Vladimir Padwa   Piano
First Piano Quartet   Ensemble
George Robert   Piano
Adam Garner   Piano

Technical Credits

Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky   Composer
Oliver di Cicco   Producer,Engineer
Paul Goodman   Engineer
Ray Hall   Engineer
Gary Harris   Engineer
John Imholz   Arranger
Mike Marshall   Producer
Max Wilcox   Producer
Richard Mohr   Producer
Foster Carling   Composer,Lyricist
Country Washburne   Arranger
Daniel Guss   Liner Notes
Patrick McDonnell   Illustrations
Ronald Wise   Producer
Garry Harris   Engineer
Reiner Kuhl   Producer
Paul Binkley   Arranger
Joseph "Country" Washburne   Lyricist

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