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Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Import

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Composer: Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B00000E3JC
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 367,085 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Disc 2
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
... if any be needed, that the Berlin Phil, in the days of H von K, was the greatest orchestra ever to walk the face of the earth.

Glorious, glorious, glorious and glorious.

Up to getting this set, my benchmark for the Nutcracker was Gergiev and the Kirov (very good indeed), but this is on another level - unmissable.

Also ... isn't the Nutcracker just the most incredible composition? I rate it - with The Pathetique - as being head and shoulders above all of Tchaikovsky's other output. All Tchaikovsky's music is in some sense "for" the ballet, but this perculiar, innocent story seems to have somehow liberated his imagination, allowing him to be completely himself (as he was, in a different way, in the Pathetique). The second act must rank as one of the greatest outpourings of originality and melody in all music, one completely wonderful thing after another - it almost beggars belief.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x908e8fa8) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x910d4a08) out of 5 stars Turning A Warhorse Into Pegasus 17 Dec. 2007
By Lawrence Otoole - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I so strongly agree with Santa Fe Listener. This Nutcracker, which I have owned ever since it was released, leaves all other versions earthbound. Nobody else captures the emotion within the fantasy so delicately and yet so forcefully. As a former ballet critic who saw more Nutcrackers than he cares to remember, this is the one that leaves visions dancing in this kid's head. Bychkov, whose Eugen Onegin also remains nonpareil, gets a spectacular and detailed sound from the BPO. Yes, Bychkov's Rachmaninoff symphony is also ravishing. Now exceedingly hard to find, this Nutcracker is a treasure. Pounce when next you see it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x910d4a5c) out of 5 stars One of the very best--why is it ignored? 5 Nov. 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Leningrad-born conductor Semyon Bychkov was only 26 when he made this complete Nutcracker with the Berlin Phil. He had debuted with the orchestra the year before but had already taken them on a Geman concert tour, the first time a guest condcutor was invited to (one suspects that Karajan's abrupt departure from the podium led to a sudden vacuum). In any event, Bychkov was the real thing, an accomplished musician with lots of good ideas.

This Nutcracker yields to none in terms of orchestral virtuosity, but it is also light and springy, carefully detailed but never fussy. A delight in every way, I would say. No doubt you've never heard of it, even though it rivals Previn, Temirkanov, Jansons, and Dorati. In my opinion it excels them all, but then, I can't account for what happened to Bychkov's career.

Now 51, he did a stint with the Buffalo Phil. in the late Eighties--never a great career move--and is now relegated to a provicial German radio orchestra in Cologne. He's on the comeback trail with a recent well-reviewed Ein Heldeleben and a current Daphne on Decca starring Renee Fleming.

There are lots of early Bychkov recordings on Philips besides this Nutcracker--I own a splendid Rachmaninoff Second Sym. and Shostakovich Eighth, along with an acclaimed Eugene Onegin. But a lot of other CDs, especially those done with the Orchestre de Paris, are out of print. We'll have to wait and see if this outstanding musician gets reborn. He deserves a major orchestra again. Meanwhile, here is a lyrical, dream-like Nutcracker which takes us into the realm of fantasy beyond any other reading I've ever encountered. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90a86d14) out of 5 stars La Course en Tête! 30 Dec. 2013
By Jeffrey A. Van Detta - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a SUPERB recording, and having listened to many (as well as having attended many presentations of this ballet in the theatre), for my money, Bychkov/Berlin is the clear winner. I agree entirely with Santa Fe Listener's perceptive review.

I would add three things:

1. More recently, Bychkov's Mahler 3 and a Lohengrin with the WDR Sinfonie-Orchester Koln are of a calibre similar to his early work. They are available in Amazon's MP3 store, and I recommend them. This may be the Bychkov renaissance for which other reviewers had expressed hope.

2. The recent Rattle release of "The Nutcracker" with the Berliners (2010) well showcases how a virtuouso orchestra can evolve into a different style of virtuosity, all the while remaining first-class. As I say in my review of the MP3 of the Rattle/Berlin Nutcracker, the orchestra's clarity and evident care with which the sections obviously listen to one another in performance recalls Cleveland under Szell. However, Rattle's performance is utterly misjudged, and stands near the back of a line of Nutcracker recordings in which Bychkov's stands at the head.

3. This Bychkov/Berlin "Nutcracker" set is now available in Amazon's MP3 store. You will see on that MP3 page a review by me purportedly of that recording. It is NOT. My MP3 review is for the Rattle/Berliner recording described in item No. 2 above. Thus, the star-rating is skewed by Amazon's practice of posting MP3 reviews generically to multiple recordings of the same work. I call on Amazon to end that confusing and misleading practice. Bychkov/Berlin is a FIVE-star account, all around, in all formats!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90d13ef4) out of 5 stars Superb Sound and Recording! Buy without hesitation.! 10 Dec. 2012
By KEITH MACINTYRE - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is one of the best Nutcrackers I've ever heard. It's easily the best one from the digital era. A performance of the complete ballet by the Berlin Philharmonic is self-recommending in and of itself. However, Bychkov proves an expert interpreter of both the dance-like and more dramatic symphonic moments, as well. I can't find much wrong with it, and the filler material from Eugene Onegin seals the deal.
HASH(0x90a86e70) out of 5 stars Beautiful, danceable Nutcracker 21 Jan. 2016
By Primavera Gardener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love it! It had been forever since I had heard the complete Nutcracker. I found this one based on reviews, and it definitely met all of my expectations.
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