Monday, December 24, 2012

The 5 Best Pieces of Music from The Nutcracker NOT from The Nutcracker Suite

Posted By on Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Most people know Tchaikovsky's music for The Nutcracker from the suite—you know, from the version used in Fantasia. But as anyone who's seen it on the stage knows, it's a whole goddamn ballet! With, like, hours worth of music. Here are some of the choicest bits you may not already know.

Waltz of the Snowflakes
What kills it here is the children's choir. You don't even have to choreograph something to make this piece dance: purely through sound, Tchaikovsky has conjured snowflakes waltzing as they fall.

The Prince and the Sugar-Plum Fairy
Not to be confused with the Sugar-Plum Fairy's famous dance, this swirling bit is sopping wet with beauty, pounding its gorgeousness into your fucking face over the course of its crescendo-filled five minutes, particularly with those arpeggios on harp—the original arpeggio instrument!

Final Waltz and Apotheosis
As brash, brassy and crashy as the rest of the ballet... and the rest of Tchaikovsky, really. (No, not really. But sort of, yeah.)

Mother Cigogne and the Clowns
If this doesn't get the guests at your Christmas Eve Ball to dance traditional Russian dances, honestly I don't know what will.

Waltz of the Flowers
Straight up: I lied. This is from the Suite, but I don't care. It's like my favorite piece of music ever. Happy holidays!

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

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