Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Learn more Fitbit
Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nutcracker as pure music-not the ballet., 24 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (Experience Edition with Hardcover Book) (Audio CD)
I am frankly astounded by Mr Haegeman's review of this recording and performance, both of which are superb. This is certainly not a run through of the ballet score-Rattle sees the work in far more symphonic terms, and the music is unveiled as much more than accompaniment to the dance-and unveiled is the correct term. In particular, Act One which the aforementioned reviewer denigrates, is a complete triumph, admittedly not the conventional view, but especially effective precisely because of that.
If you are looking for a jolly Christmas treat,a souvenir of a trip to a seasonal performance, this might disappoint. If you are looking for a hitherto unexpected revelatory and insightful performance of music you may not have thought of as truly great, then you will be delighted by this recording, as I was and am. The playing of the BPO is sumptuous and "perfumed" in exactly the right degree. Not necessarily a performance for balletomanes, but for music lovers, essential listening.
This set has given me genuine and unexpected delight-highly recommended in its 2 disc format.Stewart Crowe.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Track comments by e-mail
Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Mar 2011, 10:32:20 BST
Mr Crowe,
What in your opinion is so extraordinary or unconventional that a conductor sees the Nutcracker in symphonic terms? It IS a symphonic score, even if one written for the stage, which is exactly what makes Tchaikovsky's work stand out from the ballet compositions of most of his contemporaries - Delibes excepted. I still have to hear the first CD recording that does not treat the Nutcracker in symphonic terms. Do you know any? Rattle's rendition is in no way revelatory in this respect and using that in his defense is as much to the point as congratulating him for seeing Beethoven or Mahler in symphonic terms. Yet what more successful recordings of the Nutcracker all do achieve is combining the symphonic aspect with the narrative (it still tells a story), the evocative power and special atmosphere of this score - which is not the same as seeing the Nutcracker as a dance accompaniment. All these aspects are underplayed in Rattle's version and have been rendered a lot more convincingly by Dorati, Gergiev, Bychkov, Ansermet, Svetlanov, Mravinsky, Jansons, Ashkenazy, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Mar 2011, 11:05:07 BST
D. S. CROWE says:
I don't agree. Conductors tend to play the suite as music in its own right, but take a more balletic view if conducting the whole work.
That applies to most of the names you append, except possibly Gergiev who rushes through it like an express train, with great virtuosity but less feeling, and rather dry boxy sound.
I didn't in any event suggest that any of these recordings were inferior to the Rattle, though some ARE in my view, I merely pointed out that in MY view it's much better than you assess. I also didn't state that it was unusual for a conductor to take a symphonic view of this work-I merely indicated that Rattle does, and despite what you imply, there IS a huge difference in approach to ballet scores as compared to the symphonic works you cite-and many conductors take a more "bitty" approach to this score as they interpret it as a ballet, not a symphonic narrative. I should point out that I'm not a particular Rattle fan,nor do I care much
for the first part of the Nutcracker up to the mouse fight-Tchaikovsky himself wrote that the usual suite contained all the best music-but in this performance I found the music and performance rivetting. We were obviously never going to agree about this, but I am as entitled to evince my enthusiasm as you are your dislike. I don't understand why you don't like it, and you don't understand why I do. The best recording up to now for me has been Mackerras with the LSO on Telarc which I've owned for nearly 30 years and still sounds superb. You don;t mention that one.
I wouldn't like anyone to be put off at least trying the Rattle by a negative review-and wanted to redress the balance somewhat. After that, it's up to them!! Best regards, Stewart Crowe.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Mar 2011, 12:44:09 BST
Last edited by the author on 29 Mar 2011, 12:44:46 BST
It's bizarre that as soon as one doesn't grant the full 5 stars to a disc, and moreover explain why it deserves less than the maximum score, it is interpreted as "a negative review" or "denigrating". Amusing that even the non-fans charge to the rescue - or feel the need to "redress the balance". Surely, there is nothing between black and white is there? I guess it's all about reading.
Anyway, Mr. Crowe, there is no need to feel attacked, nor did I want you to agree with me. Mackerras' is indeed a superb version (a lot more than Rattle's) - my list was not exhaustive - and I am amazed that someone who doesn't even care for the first part of the Nutcracker, does seem to own/know so many versions. Maybe it's rewarding to listen to the first part after all once in a while.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›