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Tchaikovsky : The Nutcracker [DVD] 
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Schiaccianoci (Lo) / Nutcracker
If Christmas is an elusive, childhood state of mind, Peter Wright's 1985 Royal Ballet production of The Nutcracker, recorded at Covent Garden, is just the thing to recapture it. The delicately symmetrical choreography of Wright and Lev Ivanov ensures that the stage is constantly filled with the mesmerising enchantment demanded by Tchaikovsky's perennial favourite. The ballet's success will always lie, in part, in its familiarity and its intrinsic status as Christmas entertainment, but the best productions, like Wright's, give equal weight to the dark forces of Hoffmann's original tale, which must be overcome before good and innocence can prevail.
Here, the sadness of Drosselmeyer is a potent thread in the ballet, resolved in a moving, well-judged moment as the curtain falls. There is real magic in the dancing, from Julie Rose's charming, constantly involved Clara to the irresistible images of the divertissements. But rightly, the laurels go to Lesley Collier as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Anthony Dowell as the Prince for a pas de deux that seems to hover above the stage without making contact. And, like Wright's production, the splendid sets of Julia Trevelyan Oman--combining traditional Victorian Christmas images, a delicate filigree flower garden and pre-Raphaelite angels--steer the right side of sentimentality.
On the DVD: The Nutcracker has no extras on this DVD, although the booklet provides adequate production notes. The 4:3 format also provides adequate picture quality for a mid-1980s television production, although no amount of colour adjustment improves a slightly washed-out look. The sound, Linear PCM Stereo, makes the orchestra sound robust and solid at the occasional expense of subtlety. --Piers FordSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The duets are heartstopping,The whole production and cast and orchestra are without doubt the best
Anyone who loves the ballet cannot be anything but enchanted by this production,
A special quality shines out from the screen in this performance. Other reviewers have mentioned the standard of acting and dancing and this is exemplified in the first act when the children enter. Just look at their spirit and the interaction of the adult dancers.
It is above all, for me, the musical qualities which set the seal on this disc. Gennady Rozhdestvensky as conductor judges everything to perfection, lively in most of act 1 and yet beautifully warm and expressive in the Transformation scene. That same fine judgement as to tempo and expression are displayed throughout. I am sorry to say that other conductors seem quite pedestrian by comparison.
So yes, buy this dvd and give yourself a treat not only for Christmas but the whole year round.
i highly recommend anyone that i looking for a wonderful show for the holidays to buy or rent this dvd.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
not bad for the age it was recorded. I like the music and to see the ballet again brought back a sweet memory.Published 3 months ago by sarah waters fan north east
Bought as a Christmas present for my young daughter. Now a firm favourite. Delivery time good too.Published 7 months ago by D. A. Clark