Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Countdown to Christmas: Favorite Christmas Songs--#15

Song #15-The Nutcracker Suite

This is a later post than usual, sorry for the delay I am working on getting the posts more on time in the mornings etc.

Now with this song for starters this is really not a Christmas song but more of a theme and that theme is the Nutcracker.
Now this not being a typical song this is also a piece that is hard to relate to in the fact of this being orchestrated music their is not a beat but more of a tempo that of course is related to that of the play/ballet that has been made for many a decade.

Some history here:

After the success of The Sleeping Beauty in 1890, Ivan Vsevolozhsky, the director of the Imperial Theatres, commissioned Tchaikovsky to compose a double-bill program featuring both an opera and a ballet. The opera would be Iolanta . For the ballet, Tchaikovsky would again join forces with Marius Petipa, with whom he had collaborated on The Sleeping Beauty. The material Petipa chose was an adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann's story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by Alexandre Dumas père called The Tale of the Nutcracker. The plot of Hoffmann's story (and Dumas' adaptation) was greatly simplified for the two-act ballet. Hoffmann's tale contains a long flashback story within its main plot entitled The Tale of the Hard Nut, which explains how the Prince was turned into the Nutcracker. This had to be excised for the ballet.
Petipa gave Tchaikovsky extremely detailed instructions for the composition of each number, down to the tempo and number of bars. The completion of the work was interrupted for a short time when Tchaikovsky visited the United States for twenty-five days to conduct concerts for the opening of Carnegie Hall.Tchaikovsky composed parts of The Nutcracker in Rouen, France.(Source Wikipedia)

So below is a video that I made Nov 26, 2009 this was a look at the history of The Nutcracker unlike the version that this music was made for this is not the history of the ballet etc this was made with the history of the nutcracker for which we eat.
There are many different variates of nutcrackers and this music was also used in Disney's "Fantasia" brilliantly done animation.

Hope you enjoy

Thank you for reading this
Anthony Nadeau