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Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
Peter Tchaikovsky
The Nutcracker Ballet in two acts, Op. 71
(Complete recording - 2 CDs)
Vesna Children's Choir
Conductor: Mikhail Pletnev
ODE 1180-2D (2011)

Acclaim for Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker

"The Nutcracker enshrines another formidably assured display that repeatedly has one gasping at the wondrous skill with which Tchaikovsky handles his forces... The playing of the RNO is past praise in its unruffled, articulate composure.. and Pletnev's direction is strong, clear-sighted and unsentimental… Admirers of Pletnev and his remarkable band will find much to relish."

Gramophone (January 2012)

"The Russian National Orchestra under Mikhail Pletnev highlights the delicacy of Tchaikovsky’s orchestration. Even the more solemn moments have a wit and irreverence about them, as if the players are smiling to themselves as they play. "

The Daily Telegraph (October 2011) [more]

"Pletnev lets the first act unfold with as much drama as it contains, emphasizing the many elegant instrumental touches that Tchaikovsky brought to the score, and then he simply makes the second act [into] a celebration.... [Pletnev] lets the excellent playing of the orchestra shine through and allows the music to flow naturally and without any pomposity whatsoever. The ballet becomes a sort of sumptuous divertissement filled with gorgeous melodies that flow over each other unceasingly from start to finish..."

InfoDad (October 2011) [more]

"Utter magic overtakes the winter forest in the second scene… Acoustically, the production inhabits a beautiful, rounded space... Very well done!"

Klassik-Heute (October 2011) [more]

"Mikhail Pletnev is recognized as a reference performer of Tchaikovsky’s music, and in particular of The Nutcracker."

Presto Classical (October 2011) [more]

"Mikhail Pletnev, leading the Russian National Orchestra and the Vesna Children's Choir, delivers an elegant account of the score. The orchestra plays with dazzling precision and a warm, round tone, and beautifully conveys the predominant mood of magical, gossamer delicacy.... It's in Pletnev's attention to details that the performance really stands out. The scintillating, jewel-like Overture sets the tone of the performers' alert, attentive approach to the ballet. The swirl of strings rising from the cellos to the violins' heights that punctuates the March really does seem to swirl around the listener's head. The use of a children's (rather than an adult) choir in the "Waltz of the Snowflakes" is especially effective. Ondine's sound is immaculate, full, and nicely detailed. "

All Music (October 2011) [more]

"The RNO virtuosos are on the job. As witnessed in the Pas de deux, when it comes down to it, you really need Russian musicians..."

Muusikko (September 2011)

"So full of subtle colors in a fairytale world, snowflake patterns, games, magic and fairy dust, immersion, that the child's fantasy is like child's play... Pletnev and his magic wand has charmed the Russian National Orchestra, which conjures up a honeyed sound. "

Amfion (September 2011) [more]

What They’re Saying

"To present American and Russian musicians performing and teaching together at Festival Napa precisely the kind of effort that sustains vital cultural a critical time for both societies. [This] resonates with the public [and] is meaningful for the musician participants...Cultural diplomacy and music offer alternatives to contention and sustain important linkages between our societies for the long run...Now more than ever we need viable citizen-to-citizen points of contact and dialogue."

James F. Collins (Ambassador Ret.)

Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace