Wednesday, December 18, 2019


One of my favorite things to listen to during this time is Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." Not just The Nutcracker Suite, with which most are familiar, but the entire music from the ballet. I even have a couple of versions of The Nutcracker on video.

One is a movie starring The Pacific Northwest Ballet, narrated by Julie Christie. The other is George Balanchine's version, starring Macaulay Culkin and narrated by Keven Kline.

The Pacific Northwest Ballet version is a creepier version, partly to the performance of Hugh Duncan Bigney Mitchell (known then simply as Hugh Bigney) and his dedication to the role of Drosselmeyer. They used the name "Clara" for the main girl's character, performed as an adult by Patricia Barker. The Balanchine used the name "Marie" for the girl, and included Drosselmeyer's nephew (played by Culkin), a character missing from the PNB version.

Some in the family prefer the Balanchine version, some the PNB version, and some prefer neither. I just love the music.

Here's a little something to get you into the mood. The Vermont Youth Philharmonia performs two movements "The Nutcracker."


By the way, Tchaikovsky premiered "The Nutcracker" on 18 December 1892 in Saint Petersburg, the one in Russia, not the one by Tampa.

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