17. December 2009 · Comments Off on In Defense of The Nutcracker · Categories: Nutcracker

But let’s not castigate “The Nutcracker” just because it is the cash cow of American ballet. And let’s not make the mistake of assuming the tweeness of bad “Nutcracker” productions means that the ballet is itself twee.

Just listen to the ballet’s overture. In good productions the view of childhood that starts here, in the miniature orchestration and quick pulse of Tchaikovsky’s introduction, is enchantingly serious. Gradually the music will build in scale until you reach the colossal, slow, full-orchestral grandeur of the Sugarplum adagio in Act II: no ballet score has a greater span, and this shows how passionately Tchaikovsky was depicting the inner life of a child.


For those of you who don’t hear it constantly, here is the overture:

If you want more check out YouTube. I’m sure you’ll find a lot of it there.

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