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Excellent traditional Nutcracker
on 22 March 2004
With the complete absence of videos from the major Russian ballet companies after 1992/3, this live recording at the Mariinsky Theatre of Vassili Vainonen's "Nutctracker" as danced by the Kirov Ballet in 1992, has now attained the status of treasurable rarity. Headed by that magnificent little jewel Larissa Lezhnina (long since a leading ballerina with the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam) and the charming Viktor Baranov, this recording gives a fair idea of this particular production which remains since its creation in 1938 one of Russia's most beloved "Nutcrackers". Part of Vainonen's lasting appeal is his ability to devise a choreography which superbly matches Tchaikovsky's at times monumental musical inspiration. The masterful Waltz of the Snowflakes, the Waltz of the Flowers, and the final Grand Pas de deux are excellent examples of his art.
A remarkable asset of this performance is the presence of the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, conducted by the incomparable Viktor Fedotov, one of the most able ballet conductors of our time.
Good video transfer and excellent digital sound.