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4.7 out of 5 stars34
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on December 10, 2001
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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on October 13, 2002
I have always been a devotee of Tchaikovsky, and The Nutcracker is one of my favorite pieces. Having owned or listened to many different recordings of this work, I feel I can make the following statement: Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra love The Nutcracker. It is necessary only to hear the first few notes of the opening overture to come to this conclusion. Listening to gifted musicians play beautiful music is a wonderful experience. Listening to the Kirov Orchestra perform this work with such love and reverence transcends any experience of the senses- you feel the performance. I found this performance to be profoundly moving, but not because of the music itself, although the music is gloriously imaginative- I was moved by the obvious devotion of the orchestra members to the work and to the composer. The Kirov obviously feel an ownership of this piece, and a responsibility to perform it as no other orchestra can. They succeed brilliantly here.
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on November 21, 2001
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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on November 13, 2003
This is the best version of the Nutcracker I have ever heard. I have over 10 versions and this CD is the most true to form of the original score. The Kirov is the original symphony which premiered Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker.
The tempo is unbeat as it is meant to be. The sound quality is crisp and clear. This version is a very good gift for someone who truly enjoys classical music. This CD is very hard to find and Amazon is the only outlet which carries it. If you want it for Christmas order it as soon as possible because it runs out quickly.
This review is just a short concise version. If you want more in depth information this site has some excellent reviews which will give you more detail.
Buy it you will enjoy it, expert or not.
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on February 15, 2002
The performance is excellent - sweet and sentimemtal where it's supposed to be yet firey and passionate where you expect it to be. What blows me away, though, is the technical quality of the recording. Telarc likes to get the mikes in there close so you can hear every nuance. They do that here with great success. Also, the mixing is exceptional. Every instrument right down to the lonely little triangle stands out in high relief. I'll go so far as to say that, using headphones, what we have here is better than sitting front row center. I've bought and heard quite a number of Nutcrackers over the years. The best thing I could ever say would be, 'That's very nice, but...'.Well, I can now say joyfully that I've probably bought my last.
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on February 26, 2002
What a wonderful performance: The Kirov under Valery Gergiev did their magic tricks again, bringing the old E.T.A. Hoffmann story to life. The children, the toys, Mr. Drosselmeyer, the nutcracker (with qualifications), the mouse king, Clara (the heroine), the Christmas tree, dancing flowers, fairies and everybody and everything else are alive and well in this performance--except of course the mouse king. The orchestra, as expected, is great, better than in any other recording, and the sound of the CD is warm and magical. Now you can enjoy this nostalgic music over and over again in an incredible performance.
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on March 6, 2004
excellent!young as Gergiev is,he gave us the best enjoyment of the nutcrack.Seiji Ozawa and Rodzinski disappointed me.And the Finale is as good as Ormandy's.
By the way,Gergiev made good use of the celesta.The recording technik is good enough to show us the details of the ballet.
Thanks to Gergiev and Phillips
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on December 19, 2001
First of all to manage to fit all the the ballet on one CD is something of an engineering marvel. Second the performers have this music in their blood and it shows it the performance. It is a curiousity that Phillips released this as a single CD, they could also do it with the recording done by Antal Dorati and the
Concertgebouw Orchestra, which clocks in at just under 80 minutes. I think that the Gergiev recording is the most exciting
recording of the work yet released. A must for any Nutcracker fan.
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on April 2, 2003
I was very excited to buy this cd, since it was the complete Nutcracker Suite and only on one cd. The orchestra does a very fine job and they may play a little faster than at a ballet, but that's probably just to fit it onto one cd. This is my favorite version of the Nutcracker and I play it year-round. I think my only problem is the cd's cover has a mechanical dog toy on it instead of a Nutcracker.
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on April 7, 2004
WOW - what a recording - you had better have outstanding speakers for this one
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