Album: Simon Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker, Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (EMI Classics)

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The Independent Culture

The wealth of melodies contained in The Nutcracker, is all the more remarkable, as Simon Rattle suggests, for the depressive state of its composer.

Besides the featherlight celesta of "Dance Of The Sugar-Plum Fairy", there's the tiptoeing woodwind of "Dance Of The Reeds", and the en pointe pizzicato of "Tea: Chinese Dance", its high woodwind and glockenspiel so delicately presented here before the dramatic gusto of the equally familiar "Trepak: Russian Dance". Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker enter fully into the spirit of things, infusing the classic "March" with a lovely toytown pomp. Delightful.

DOWNLOAD THIS March; Tea: Chinese Dance; Trepak: Russian Dance