Customer Review

23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars truncated version of a beautiful ballet, 20 Mar 2008
This review is from: Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker [1977] [DVD] (DVD)
Dancers fabulous as usual, but unfortunately the original full length ballet has been severely cut, (to 78 minutes, for goodness sake) missing out a great many of the set pieces and therefore not showing to its best advantage. The missing scenes are wonderful to watch. I did have the full version originally and wish I could obtain it again.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Nov 2009 19:43:40 GMT
Last edited by the author on 10 Dec 2009 02:44:43 GMT
Either your memory is playing tricks on you, or you are thinking about a production other than the Baryshnikov one. This is the complete Baryshnikov production as presented on television back in 1977. It has not been cut for DVD release. It was originally telecast by CBS, in a 90 minute time slot, with three commercial breaks, so something had to be cut from the complete ballet. On the DVD, there are naturally no commercials, so its running length is 78 minutes. The complete ballet lasts about 85 minutes if the music is played at a normal tempo and there is no applause to drag the program out further. I saw the first telecast of the Baryshnikov version, and I have been watching it ever since. Whatever its cuts, it was unquestionably the best "Nutcracker" telecast in the U.S. up to then, and it is still my favorite version.

To those who say the sets and costumes are below par - they are not. You are watching a program shot on videotape in 1977; that's the reason for the somewhat faded colors, and that video tape has been remastered and transferred to DVD. Video tape does not wear very well, but if you had seen the annual reruns of this program on American television, you would notice that the quality of the picture has been markedly improved, as has the sound. The DVD is in stereo; the original telecast was not, because there was no stereophonic sound on TV back then. The soundtrack was recorded in stereo, but, in 1977, and for years afterward, had to be played in mono. There was a soundtrack album of this production on CBS Masterworks, and it was in stereo, but it has not appeared on CD.
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