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The Nutcracker

Katie Derham discusses Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker and its journey from the short story to dance with conductor Paul Murphy about how to shape music to work for dancers.

Katie Derham considers a seasonal favourite - Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. She looks at its journey from the short story by ETA Hoffmann, via Alexandre Dumas, to the ballet stage and talks to conductor Paul Murphy of the Birmingham Royal Ballet about the nature of Tchaikovsky's music and how, as a conductor, he sets about shaping it to make it work for the dancers.

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34 minutes

Music Played

  • Heinrich Biber

    Visitation Sonata, finale

    Performer: Richard Egarr. Performer: Andrew Manze.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Nutcracker (Overture)

    Orchestra: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Neeme Järvi.
    • CHANDOS : CHAN 5144.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 1.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Morceau De Fantaisie Op.3 No.2 (C sharp minor prelude)

    Performer: Sergey Rachmaninov.
    • PHILIPS : 456-9432.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 10.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Nutcracker (Act 2, Chinese Dance)

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: André Previn.
    • EMI : 764-332-2.
    • EMI.
    • 17.
  • Robert Schumann

    Kreisleriana Op.16 No.8

    Performer: Radu Lupu.
    • DECCA : 440-496 2.
    • DECCA.
    • 27.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Nutcracker (Act 1, Sc.1: Decoration of the Tree and March

    Orchestra: Boston Symphony Orchestra. Choir: American Boychoir. Conductor: Seiji Ozawa.
    • DG RECORDS : 00289-477 5153.
    • DG RECORDS.
    • 3.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Nutcracker (Act 1, Sc. 3 Drosselmeyer's Entree)

    Orchestra: Mariinsky Orchestra. Conductor: Valery Gergiev.
    • PHILIPS : 462-114.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 5.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Nutcracker (Act 1, Sc. 3 Galop and Dance of the Parents)

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Semyon Bychkov.
    • Philips : 420 2372.
    • Philips.
    • 4.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Nutcracker (Act 2: Dance fo the Sugar Plum Fairy)

    Orchestra: Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Conductor: Antal Doráti.
    • PHILIPS : 456-188-2.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 22.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Nutcracker (Act 1: Dance of the Snow Flakes)

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.
    • EMI : 50999-63162127.
    • EMI.
    • 6.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Bagatelle Op.119 No.1

    Performer: Stephen Kovacevich.
    • PHILIPS : 426-976-2.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 18.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Nutcracker (Divertissement)

    Orchestra: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle.
    • EMI 646 3852-2.
    • EMI.
    • 10.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Nutcracker (Act 2: Pas de Deux)

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Charles Mackerras.
    • TELARC : CD-8137E/A&B.
    • TELARC.
    • 10.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Nutcracker (Act 2: Pas de Deux)

    Orchestra: Leningrad Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra. Conductor: Yevgeny Mravinsky.
    • PHILIPS : 420 4832.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 11.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Nutcracker (Act 2: Apotheosis)

    Orchestra: Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Conductor: Ernest Ansermet.
    • DECCA : 460-639 2.
    • DECCA.
    • 6.

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