Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker, Russian
  • Classical music composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky www.encognitive.com The Nutcracker (Russian Щелкунчик, Shchelkunchik) Op. 71, is a fairy tale-ballet in two acts, three scenes, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composed in 1891--92. Alexandre Dumas père's adaptation of the story by ETA Hoffmann was set to music by Tchaikovsky (written by Marius Petipa and commissioned by the director of the Imperial Theatres Ivan Vsevolozhsky in 1891). In Western countries, this ballet has become perhaps the most popular ballet performed, primarily around Christmas time. The composer made a selection of eight of the more popular numbers from the ballet before the ballet's December 1892 premiere, forming The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, intended for concert performance. The suite was first performed, under the composer's direction, on 19 March 1892 at an assembly of the St. Petersburg branch of the Musical Society[1]. The suite became instantly popular; the complete ballet did not achieve its great popularity until around the mid-1960s. Among other things, the score of The Nutcracker is noted for its use of the celesta, an instrument that the composer had already employed in his much lesser known symphonic poem The Voyevoda (premiered 1891).^ Although well-known in The Nutcracker as the featured solo instrument in the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from Act II, it is employed elsewhere in the same act. en.wikipedia.org

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