Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


DVD REVIEW

Some items
to consider


New App by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra for iOS and Android!

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively
CD: Crotchet AmazonUK AmazonUS

 

Pyotr Il’yich TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Nutcracker - ballet in two acts (1891-2)
Clara - Elizabeth Powell
Nutcracker Prince - Davit Karapetyan
Uncle Drosselmeyer - Damien Smith
Mouse King - David Arce
Snow Queen - Yuan Yuan Tan
Snow King - Pierre-Françoise Vilanoba
Sugar Plum Fairy - Vanessa Zahorian
Grand Pas De Deux Ballerina - Maria Kochetkova
Chinese Man - Nicolas Blanc
Genie - Sarah Van Patten
San Francisco Ballet
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra/Martin West
choreography by Helgi Tomasson
rec. live, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, 19, 21 December 2007
OPUS ARTE DVD OA 1002 D [13:00]

 

Experience Classicsonline

This is a magical production of Nutcracker and so cleverly conceived with its fascinating associations with San Francisco. The ballet’s story is set in the San Francisco of 1915, the year the City was host to the Panama Pacific International Exhibition. The sets and costumes are absolutely gorgeous. The prelude has everyday characters of that period moving in front of a backcloth of familiar-looking San Franciscan Victorian houses with those grandiose steps leading steeply up to front doors, through one of which Uncle Drosselmeyer steps into the ballet’s first act. Drosselmeyer is presented as a benign Uncle figure and magician and, during Clara’s dream sequences, as wizard and compère through the speciality dances.

The bonus interviews with the production’s choreographer (Helgi Tomasson), scenic designer (Michael Yeargan) and costume designer (Martin Pakledinaz) indicate the immense research and dedication that went into its realization. (It was first performed in December 2004.)  For instance, Pakledinaz  relates how it was necessary to create layers of different coloured tulle to obtain the right hues for the corps de ballet dancers in the ‘Waltz of the Flowers’. Layers of semi-transparent white tulle interspersed with glistenings make up the ballet length dresses for the classical ballet that is the ‘Waltz of the Snowflakes’. These delicate ‘floating’ creations, together with snow-flake-crystal-style head-dresses produce an exquisite fairy-land effect.

Act I commences with a Christmas party in full flow in the warmth and conviviality of a large family gathering. The set is cosy Victorian/Edwardian with a large Christmas tree and a sweeping staircase. The ladies are dressed in Edwardian slim, classical-line, ankle-length dresses for the popular social dancing. The apotheosis as Clara, clutching the Nutcracker doll, dreams, is ingeniously handled so that the Christmas tree and the living room furniture grow to gigantic proportions and the villainous mice appear on the scene only to be routed by the heroic Nutcracker General and his troops. He is then released from his magic spell, his huge fierce-looking mask is whisked away so he can be transformed into the handsome prince. Clara is then transported with Drosselmeyer as guide to the Pavilion of Dreams to witness the many speciality dances that comprise Act II. The Pavilion of Dreams is designed around the large-domed Pavilion of the 1915 Exposition – now San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. All these dances are splendidly and most originally conceived and beautifully performed. The Bear King roly-polies out of Madame du Cirque’s gigantic skirt (shaped like a huge circus tent); and the Chinese Man (a rubber-jointed Nicolas Blanc) dances out in front of a twisting giant dragon (another San Francisco conceit – recalling the City’s significant China Town). The San Francisco corps de ballet shines especially in the numbers described above. Special mention must be made of the star dancers, who earned tumultuous applause: the supremely athletic Davit Karapetyan and the lovely graceful Maria Kochetkova - reminding me very much of Audrey Hepburn’s elfin looks - who seemed to float rather than jump into the arms of Karapetyan in their ‘Grand Pas de Deux.’ 

Truly magical.  The ideal family Christmas present. 

Grace and Ian Lace
 





 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools




Return to Review Index

Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.