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Album Review

There are only so many ways you can say it, but it's worth repeating: the combination of Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra is one of the all-time best when it comes to performing Russian music for the stage. The recording of the complete Nutcracker is just one example of their particular skills. There is a clarity and precision to the orchestra's playing that gives Tchaikovsky's music sparkle, while Gergiev breathes life into the dances and few moments of drama that are in the story. Melodies and countermelodies seamlessly pass from one instrument to another, and every nuance of dynamics and timing. And yet that attention to detail does not detract from the enchantment of the presentation. It's a refreshing reading of the complete ballet that stands in contrast to the often run-of-the-mill and clichéd performances of the Nutcracker Suite., Rovi

Customer Reviews

Best version by far

Not sure what happened to the reviewer above, but this is the complete Nutcracker. Nothing is missing, believe me, I would know as this is a favorite piece. I have had the recording for several years. It is the best available version. All the others sound very tame next to this fast paced, dynamic, driven recording. One of the few that comes in fast enough to fit on one CD. This one clocks in at 81:03 whereas others run about 85+ and require a second CD. The only rivals are the two older Dorati recordings on Mercury and Philips. But this one has better sound. Try it, you won't regret it.

The Best Out There

I listend to all the Nutcracker recordings iTunes had to offer, and I have to say this one was by far the best I heard. The recordings and mixing quality were great, and the musicians them self were great to. If you are wondering which album of the Nutracker to get, look no more, because this is the one.


Almost the entire piece is rushed to the point that it becomes uncomfortable to listen to. Those who praise this recording for being short enough to fit on one CD must not mind that the resulting trade-off is a worse product. The tempo is just all wrong--the orchestra's obvious skill simply can't overcome it.

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