Don't be put off that this Nutcracker is played by the Utah Symphony. It is first class in every way in the glorious sound that Vanguard lavished on the orchestra.Maurice Abravanel was one of the most significant theater conducters of the 20th century. You can feel immediately that he grasps the balletic nature as well as the symphonic majesty of Tchaikovsky's score. The interpretation is brisk, light, nimble, well balanced and masterfully cohesive. Right from the beginning of the overture you will understand what I mean! The playing of the Utah Symphony is transparent, clean, and full of color. You can tell they enjoy playing it! I bought this recording years ago on Vanguard Everyman LPs. The CD transfer is excellent. Grab the it while you can still get it!
Editorial Reviews - Amazon.com
Charles Mackerras is one of the most purely musical and versatile conductors around. In fact, he's never made a bad record, and this Nutcracker is outstanding… He brings superb drama to the action sequences: the battle with the Mouse King, bustling Christmas scenes at the opening, and the "transformation" of the Christmas tree. In the second act (which is where most of the famous Suite comes from), each of the dances is sharply characterized. In short, a great performance. –David Hurwitz
Charles Mackerras is one of the most purely musical and versatile conductors around. In fact, he's never made a bad record, and this Nutcracker is outstanding… In short, a great performance. - David Hurwitz; Editorial Reviews - Amazon.com
Tchaikovsky’s most famous work, The Nutcracker, is presented in this stunning new recording by the world’s greatest orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, under the baton of their celebrated conductor Sir Simon Rattle. This musical fairytale follows Clara and her unusual prince and protector, The Nutcracker, through adventures and exotic delights in the magical Kingdom of Sweets.
Eugene Ormandy's disc of Nutcracker excerpts, including the entire "suite" plus a good bit of additional music (Act 1's journey through the snow and Waltz of the Snowflakes, along with some more Act 2 dances, including the Final Waltz and Apotheosis) must be one of the biggest selling records of all time… Sounding better than ever, and at a budget price, this disc deserves to sell another few million copies. [11/8/2003] –David Hurwitz
Tchaikovsky's three classic ballets combine his remarkable gift for melody with sparkling orchestration and a real sense of theatrical magic. Herbert von Karajan and the Wiener Philharmoniker provide performances of "utmost polish and sophistication" in a recording that "can be recommended without reservations". - Gramophone