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Songs of the Season: The Nutcracker

Christmas music is not just nor even mostly Broadway show tunes and pop hits like the ones I’ve been sharing. First and foremost, Christmas music is carols and what we usually call classical musical. Classical Christmas music goes back far – very far – and I’ll be sharing some of that music in the weeks to come, but the most well-known Christmas classical these days is surely…

The Nutcracker (Russian: Щелкунчик, Schelkunchik) is a two-act ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from the story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E. T. A. Hoffmann. It was given its premiere at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on 18 December 1892, on a double-bill with Tchaikovsky’s opera, Iolanta.

Although the original production was not a success, The Nutcracker has enjoyed increasing popularity since the mid-20th century, and is now performed by countless ballet companies primarily during the Christmas season. Tchaikovsky’s score has become one of his most famous compositions, in particular the pieces featured in The Nutcracker Suite, a selection of eight pieces from the complete score. (via Wikipedia.)

Some of the music:

Overture

ACT II – Selections
Coffee: Arabian Dance
Tea : Chinese Dance
Trepak: Russian Dance
Waltz of the Flowers
Dance of the Prince and the Sugar-Plum Fairy
Variation II: Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy

And a variation – bridging the divide between Christmas and Hanukkah:

Shirim, “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies” – from Klezmer Nutcracker

For more…

Filed under: Song of the Day, , , ,

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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh - and hello to Jason Isaacs.

The 400 Blows

zerode

is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.

 

What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

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