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on 21 November 2017
I have several versions of the Nutcracker by different ballet groups & this is to my mind the best so far. The Royal Ballet have over the years honed the Nutcracker to perfection . Everything, the dancing, the stage , the lighting, all are superb . Throw in top class filming & sound recording & you have a “must have” Nutcracker.
Iohna Loots is ideally cast as Clara & Miyako Yoshida has made the Sugar Plumb Fairy her own over the years setting a standard for others to follow. My only criticism is that the children were not brought out for the encore & thus allowing the audience to show its appreciation of their performance which was a delight to see.
If you intend to have just one Nutcracker in your collection this is the one to have. That is until the next Royal Ballet Nutcracker comes out--- you never know---- it might be even better !.
9 people found this helpful
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HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 28 November 2011
This is the same Peter Wright choreography as in the previous, much loved, Royal Ballet production of about a decade ago. I, like many others no doubt, was rather hoping that that earlier recording would be transferred to the new Blu-ray medium. That was not to be, but instead we have a brand new recording of the same production, albeit with different or older, dancers to consider. For those interested in the DVD version only please note that Amazon does not allow such a distinction to be made when submitting a review of a disc available in Blu-ray. Please make allowances for that when reading the following and which may well contain useful comment anyway .....

As in all re-makes there is a mixture of pluses and negatives. The negatives will be most keenly felt by those who have formed a strong allegiance to the earlier issue of course. The same will no doubt be true of this issue in the fullness of time. As this recording was made during the current run with different lead dancers on different nights there will also be those who would wish the recording had been made on different nights.

None of that matters however when considering this new recording as the earlier one is not being transferred to Blu-ray and this is the only recording of this popular production now in its 25th year now available in the new medium. So this disc simply has to be considered entirely on its own merits as a recent example of this particular production. Bemoaning the lack of the previous production as a Blu-ray, or complaining about the choice of cast on this disc as some do are simply irrelevant considerations and not in any way helpful. Offenbach summed up this sort of situation as quoted at the end of this summary review.

In my opinion, given the circumstances and choices concerning this disc, it does very well indeed. All the lead parts are well danced technically and they are supported by excellent ensemble work. The magic of the ballet is fully caught and transmitted - one has only to listen to the enthusiastic support of the audience during the performance and the extended and rapturous 7 minutes of curtain calls at the end before the final fade-out to be sure of that.

The staging and costumes are both traditional and sumptuous in terms of ballet productions and the narrative is traditional and kind to all. The orchestra, under the direction of Koen Kessels, delivers attentive and high quality playing throughout, and what a fine score Tchaikovsky provided for our enjoyment. Pure musical bliss!

The actual recording is well up to the standards of Opus Arte with crisp and well defined visuals which provide a nice balance of close-up detail and panoramic views. The sound is both full and clear and is provided in both DTS-HD and stereo.

For me personally, much though I loved the earlier production referred to in the first paragraph, I feel more than compensated for by the many advantages of this new production, not least by the marvellous recording quality. Especially for those fresh to this production therefore, I am sure that 5 stars would seem to be an easily justified assessment. The same might be said for others such as me - I hope so, as in my opinion, it seems to be fully deserving issue and likely to give plenty of pleasure and satisfaction to many future purchasers.

As Offenbach advises in La Grande Duchesse 'If you cannot have what you love, then you must love what you have' .................... Appropriate advice perhaps for some enthusiasts in this particular case.
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on 31 January 2016
A really lovely production and with the same Sugar Plan Fairy as the Nutcracker production with Anthony Dowell playing Drosselmeyer which I have also reviewed. However in this one the principle lead dancer playing Clara is English. She is very good but she is not quite as good as the principle dancer in the Nutcracker with Anthony Dowell. Both the principle dancers in the Anthony Dowell Nutcracker are Russian and it shows.. I would like to stress that there is very little to chose between the two productions however. This Nutcracker is exceedingly good and you will not be disappointed if you buy it. It is a wonderful ballet and it is danced extremely well with beautiful costumes, colours and stage sets. For me however the Russian dancers in the Nutcracker with Anthony Dowell just have the edge. They seem to eek more from every second they are on stage and give even more to every single tiny movement, even facially they just are more expressive and more artistic. Anthony Dowell's ballet and Anthony Dowell as Drosselmeyer I would give 6 stars to as it is just THE best I have ever seen. This Nutcracker however gets and fully deserves its 5 stars because it is absolutely wonderful and a joy to own and these 2 productions are the best you will find anywhere. Absolutely superb.
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on 26 June 2013
Firstly this is a very good production. (though I still prefer the earlier version with Sir Anthony Dowell)
I did have the DVD video of this 2009 production but unfortunately it froze a few times so I ordered a blueray.
I can see very little difference between DVD and Blueray. The Blueray looked to soft and not sharp which is what you expect from a modern recording, but the colours are very good in both formats. Very well filmed technically for the dancers, lighting and scene changes.
Lets hope we get the Evgenii Svetlanov version upgraded, but it is nice to have this one as well.
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VINE VOICEon 21 December 2013
I do not normally watch ballet these days, but having heard The Nutcracker Suite a few times over the years, I was tempted to purchase this version after reading so many positive reviews. I am glad I did because I enjoyed it tremendously. It has given me a new taste in Ballet so I ordered a version of Swan Lake on Blu-Ray and absolutely loved that as well. This is a wonderfully staged and extremely entertaining version which every fan of Ballet will be delighted to watch. Good picture and sound (DTS if you have the right equipment) even though it is not a Blu-Ray. An excellent buy of a very popular ballet.
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on 7 November 2017
Not the version I was looking for but it's growing on me. Very good and it wouldn't be Christmas without it
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on 28 June 2017
It's great to be able to catch up on these older performances, especially for fans of Anthony Dowell and Leslie Collier. These classic ballets are always good to watch, especially when performed by such a brilliant company.
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on 27 June 2015
I was delighted to find this on DVD having owned the video cassette version many years ago! I saw this cast at Covent Garden and the partnership of Dowell and Collier hasn't quite been equalled in more recent recordings of the same production. Sheer joy!
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on 24 January 2018
New to watching ballet. I just love watching it on HD and would recommend it to anyone. Fantastic!! Don,t hesitate to buy.BM
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on 13 January 2018
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