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29 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful CD
When I saw this CD, I bought it within 1 second because this is the one I am looking for a long time - The Nutcracker - Complete Ballet in ONE CD!!!!
After I bought it, I listen twice a day for 3 continous weeks. I love it. This is the best one I bought!
The performance is good. The record is good. The quality of CD is good. The graphic of the CD box is good...
Published on Feb. 1 2004 by Dunndeejones

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3.0 out of 5 stars Fast and Furious
It is true that this is an up tempo recording and as such it steals the moodiness inherent in the ballet as created and desired by Tchaikovsky who would not bow to the sanitised version of the original story. Having danced the role of Clara's Father and the Mouse King, I could not keep up with this tempo. As this piece has the benefit of modern metronome timing there...
Published on Jan. 17 2003 by Jef Savage


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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best!, Nov. 21 2001
By 
Bruce Aguilar (Hollywood, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nutcracker Complete (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No where else have I found this on ONE CD!, Sept. 18 2003
By 
A. L. Kennedy "sugarplum29" (Brooklyn, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nutcracker Complete (Audio CD)
Traditionally, this has always been released as a cumbersome two-CD set. I jumped for joy when I found the entire score was on one CD! The orchestra plays this with much dedication and clarity. People all over the world associate Nutcracker with Russian ballet companies and Gergiev does not disappoint. The tempos are brisk, crisp, electric. The story, whether you've seen the ballet or not, leaps vividly to life with each track. There is a focus and an obvious love tempered with a sense of theater that gives Tchaikovsky his due. The previous two-CD set with which I was familiar was Antal Dorati, whose tempo I found much, much too fast for real enjoyment. The magic of Nutcracker is that when done well, the music stands on its own. For me, a former dancer, this recording helps me remember the things I loved about this ballet while dancing it (check out my amazon nickname hee hee), in addition to all those Christmas seasons I spent pirouetting across a stage. It's simply one of the best recordings available. No Tchaikovsky or ballet lover's collection would be complete without it. A real sparkling gem, so don't miss this one!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spirited, but spiritless, Dec 4 2001
This review is from: Nutcracker Complete (Audio CD)
(...)
Before criticizing, though, the good points (the one star): it is on one cd and the recording engineers have done an ok job.
Now, first, tempi are for the most part brisk. Not a problem with the quick pieces, but it's too fast for the slower ones; in some places it sounds as if the orchestra cannot keep up, and detail and meaning are lost in the crush. In fifty years of listening to classical music (that started with The Nutcracker!), this is the first time I have heard so clear a demonstration that slower music just plain requires its space! Giergiev also does some strange things with the rhythm - possibly a consequence of the speed. I lack the expertise to describe it, exactly, but if he is correct, everyone else is wrong. My ear and experience tell me Giergiev is wrong! What is lost is complexity and feeling. Also, Giergiev sometimes highlights harmonic lines over the main theme in a way that is very distracting, and deflates emotional content.
Second, the playing itself: it seems to me that the musicians in many instances simply do not hold the notes quite long enough - as if they had no feel for the music! Also, the sound lacks depth, and at times sounds thin.
Third, interpretation again: Properly understood, this music is about the becoming of love - and the loss of innocence - set within a magical background, with threatening and erotic overtones. (OK, so I'm not a critic!) Children respond to the magical - and I think to the rest of it, as well. We older listeners, well, some moments can tear my heart out. But all this is, or should be, expressed by the music: Giergiev's interpretation guts it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, April 7 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Nutcracker Complete (Audio CD)
WOW - what a recording - you had better have outstanding speakers for this one
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good performance, Jan. 19 2004
This review is from: Nutcracker Complete (Audio CD)
this is a very good performance of a wonderful ballet. Our entire family keeps listening to it and we are not getting tired of the performance.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Way It Should Be, Dec 20 2003
This review is from: Nutcracker Complete (Audio CD)
Tchaikovsky wrote "The Nutcracker" for the Kirov Orchestra and so I was really pleased to find this CD of "The Nutcracker" by...the Kirov Orchestra.
At first, I was a little shocked when I listened to the CD. The orchestra does a magnificent job but they play the music quite a bit faster than you're probably accustomed to hearing it played. After I got used to it (and it only took a few minutes), this became my very favorite recording of a cherished Christmas tradition in my house.
So many of us has seen performances of "The Nutcracker" yet how many of us really know the story? Better yet, how many of us have read (and remember) the original story by E.T.A. Hoffmann? Let's face it, when it comes to "The Nutcracker" it's not the choreography or the story we remember...it's the score. This CD, and the Kirov, give us "The Nutcracker" filled with life and energy. This is definitely a "listener's" "Nutcracker" and in my opinion, it's also "The Nutcracker" performed as it was meant to be performed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What universal cultural globalization should be, Aug. 9 2003
By 
This review is from: Nutcracker Complete (Audio CD)
This ballet inspired from Hoffmann's tales and the French version by Alexandre Dumas the Elder, is a Christmas Carol that tells us a beautiful story about the imaginary world and the dreamins capability of children. It all starts so nicely with a Christmas party and Christmas presents. But a certain Councillor Drosselmeyer (we can choose between a reference to a thrush or to strangling in this character) comes and brings strange boxes on a modernistic, avant-garde, lopsided and warped music. It is disquieting and frightening, at least for children, and the tale is going to show children feed their wildest imagination on their fears. Here comes a beautiful doll, the Nutcracker, who is for Clara. But the doll is broken by the rough and rude boys. The desolation that ensues will bring Clara back to her doll in the middle of the night and she will be taken to the castle of the Prince this Nutcracker reveals himself to be, the Kingdom of Sweets, the Castle of all sweet desserts on the Sugar Mountain under the control of the Sugar-Plum Fairy. We thus go beyond the looking glass and discover a world of bonbons and sugarpies, of desserts and all kinds of entertainments. But Tchaikovsky is a lot more than just a storyteller. He is a real looting and raiding pirate for the music of absolutely any country and any tradition, among others France, Georgia, the Ukraine, Germany, you name it you can be sure you'll have it. He is the first globalized musician in the 19th century, one century ahead of history. That gives to his music a charm and an appeal that covers the whole world. What's more he uses all instruments in the most creative way and particularly strings, flutes, celesta, horns and many others, in order to create a changing atmosphere that is supposed to reflect the multifarious and evanescent imagination of children who project very general desires and impulses in an everchanging dream and vision. This ballet, that practically no one can produce any more because of the cost of the setting and costumes, has become a universal treasure, a worldwide ambassador for Russian culture,and so many other cultures at the same time, a precursor of what was to come a century later after many great crises, many great revolutions, many hot or cold wars, the detente and finally a world that is free of blocks. And yet Tchaikovsky saw farther and knew that strife, fear, evil are deeply embedded in human nature, in the ruthless boys who destroy the doll, in the voracious mice or rats that are nothing but the dark side of humanity. And in spite of that there is always somewhere, apparently here among girls, the power to dream a world of peace, love and sweetness. And every single instrument in the orchestra brings its little note to this masterwork, its little brick or stone to this eternal wall of beauty.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University of Perpignan
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recording!!, April 2 2003
By 
This review is from: Nutcracker Complete (Audio CD)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars First-rate!, Oct. 18 2002
By 
Hoodlum (Frederick, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nutcracker Complete (Audio CD)
An excellent recording of some of the most beautiful music around!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tchaikovsky's Fairy Tale Ballet, Oct. 13 2002
By 
W. M. Robbins "The Badger" (The Beautiful Blue Ridge) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nutcracker Complete (Audio CD)
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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