TCHAIKOVSKY: Nutcracker Ballet – Favorite selections – Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/Erich Kunzel – Telarc

by | Oct 2, 2007 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

TCHAIKOVSKY: Nutcracker Ballet – Favorite selections – Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/Erich Kunzel – Telarc Multichannel SACD-60674, 73:12 ****:

Well, it’s already October and here’s our first holiday season review.  It wasn’t painful at all. In fact, Kunzel and his crack pops people do a bang-up job on the Nutcracker, making it sound fresh and exciting from start to finish. They certainly have the experience behind them  to make it appealing: they have done 83 pops recordings for Telarc now, been Billboard’s Classical Crossover Artist of the Year for four straight years, and Maestro Kunzel’s current season in Cincinnati celebrates the 50th anniversary of his professional debut.

The 73-minute sampling has all the best parts of the complete ballet, which is not that much lengthier in toto.  Act II gets more selections than Act I, with all the various international dances staged at the court for Clara and the Prince.  The Waltz of the Snowflakes brings in a local Cincinnati children’s choir. Telarc’s 5.0-channel surround option is strong and enveloping as usual, and the bass drum will shake your booty as usual.  Another winner for America’s top pop concert band!

TRACKLIST:

Overture

ACT I

First Tableau

Scene 1: The Christmas Tree
Scene 2: March
Scene 3: Children’s Galop and Arrival of the Guests
Scene 4: Pas de deux (Doll and Toy Soldier) Tempo di Valse
Scene 6: Magic Spell Begins

Second Tableau

Scene 8: Scene in the Pine Forest (Journey through the Snow)
Scene 9: Waltz of the Snowflakes

ACT II

Scene 10: The Magic Castle
Scene 11: Clara and the Prince
Chocolate: Spanish Dance
Coffee: Arabian Dance
Tea: Chinese Dance
Trepak: Russian Dance
Dance of the Mirlitons
Mother Gigone and Her Little Clowns
Scene 13: Waltz of the Flowers
Dance of the Prince and the Sugar-Plum Fairy
Variation I: Tarantella
Variation II: Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy
Coda
Scene 15: Final Waltz and Apotheosis

 – John Sunier

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