Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71, TH 14 Russian National Orchestra & Mikhail Pletnev

Album info



Label: Ondine

Genre: Classical

Subgenre: Ballet

Artist: Russian National Orchestra & Mikhail Pletnev

Composer: Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Album including Album cover


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  • Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893): The Nutcracker, Op. 71:
  • 1Overture03:14
  • 2Act I Tableau 1: Decoration of the Christmas tree04:01
  • 3Act I Tableau 1: March02:31
  • 4Act I Tableau 1: Children's galop and entry of the parents02:30
  • 5Act I Tableau 1: Scene dansante06:16
  • 6Act I Tableau 1: Scene and Grandfather's Dance07:56
  • 7Act I Tableau 1: Departure of the guests - Night07:37
  • 8Act I Tableau 1: The battle and transformation scene03:26
  • 9Act I Tableau 2: The forest of fir trees in winter04:13
  • 10Act I Tableau 2: Waltz of the Snowflakes07:12
  • 11Act II Tableau 3: The enchanted palace of the kingdom of sweets04:14
  • 12Act II Tableau 3: Arrival of Clara and the Nutcracker04:26
  • 13Act II Tableau 3: Divertissement: a. Chocolate - Spanish Dance01:15
  • 14Act II Tableau 3: Divertissement: b. Coffee - Arabian Dance03:41
  • 15Act II Tableau 3: Divertissement: c. Tea - Chinese Dance01:08
  • 16Act II Tableau 3: Divertissement: d. Trepak - Russian Dance01:07
  • 17Act II Tableau 3: Divertissement: e. Dance of the Toy Flutes02:34
  • 18Act II Tableau 3: Divertissement: f. Mother Gigogne and the clowns02:50
  • 19Act II Tableau 3: Waltz of the flowers07:25
  • 20Act II Tableau 3: Pas de deux: The Prince and the Sugar-Plum Fairy05:33
  • 21Act II Tableau 3: Variation 1: Tarantella00:42
  • 22Act II Tableau 3: Variation 2: Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy02:21
  • 23Act II Tableau 3: Coda01:17
  • 24Act II Tableau 3: Final waltz03:49
  • 25Act II Tableau 3: Apotheosis01:48
  • Total Runtime01:33:06

Info for Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71, TH 14

Building on the great success of their previous Swan Lake recording, This CD features star conductor Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra with the complete ballet music from The Nutcracker by Peter Tchaikovsky.

The Nutcracker is an absolute masterpiece of Russian orchestral music, and perhaps the crowning achievement of Tchaikovsky’s artistic output. It benefits from enormous popularity worldwide and among a wide range of audiences.

Mikhail Pletnev is recognized as a reference performer of Tchaikovsky’s music, and in particular of The Nutcracker; his unrivalled piano transcriptions of Nutcracker Suite were selected for the 1998 Anthology “Great Pianists of the 20th Century” (Philips Classics).

Since founded by Pletnev in 1990, the RNO has quickly reached a position at the top of Russian orchestras, as well as among the top ten of international orchestras (as listed by Gramophone). The orchestra’s very first CD release in 1991 featured Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Symphony, hailed by Gramophone as this symphony’s best recording in history; further great recordings on Deutsche Grammophon and PentaTone have garnered a Grammy Award and numerous other accolades.

“There's no hint of serving up old or reheated fare from the Russian National Orchestra under founder and artistic director Pletnev, despite the fact that this must be grindingly familiar ground. Together they more than meet the challenge of lifting the entire score into a coherent whole...The delightfully detailed playing from the orchestra brings these enchanting characters to life, in a well paced, elegant narrative.” (Classic FM)

“On this evidence, Mikhail Pletnev remains one of the most intelligent and stylish Tchaikovsky conductors around...The Nutcracker enshrines another formidably assured display that repeatedly has one grasping at the wondrous skill with which Tchaikovsky handles his forces. Once again, the playing of the RNO is past praise in its unruffled, articulate composure.” (Gramophone Magazine)

“I love the slow burn of Pletnev's Christmas-tree transformation, the nimbleness of the battle between the Nutcracker's forces and the mice, and the strangeness of his Snowflake Waltz...the RNO woodwind have plenty of character throughout, and are brightly lit by Ondine's vivid recording; prepare for an earthquake in the big, symphonic Act 1 climaxes, the sphere in which Pletnev truly excels.” (BBC Music Magazine)

Russian National Orchestra
Mikhail Pletnev, conductor

Mikhail Pletnev
After his studies at the Central Special Music School, Mikhail Pletnev entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory in 1974, where he studied with Jakob Flier and Lev Vlasenko. Aged only 21, Pletnev was the Gold Medal and First Prize winner of the 1978 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition.

He has since appeared as soloist with the major orchestras under conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Chailly, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano and Kurt Sanderling. In 1990, following the collapse of the Soviet system, Mikhail Pletnev was able to realize his dream of forming the Russian National Orchestra. Under his artistic leadership, the RNO has become known as one of the world’s leading orchestras.

Although his conducting career is primarily focused on the RNO, he also makes appearances as a guest-conductor with such prestigious orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berliner Sinfonieorchester and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In September 1999, Pletnev was appointed the RNO’s Conductor Laureate and his collaboration with the orchestra has continued in many of its recordings and concerts. In February 2003, he conducted the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra at the Berliner Konzerthaus for the official opening of the Russian Year of Culture.

Mikhail Pletnev’s recordings and live performances as a pianist have proved him an outstanding interpreter of an extensive repertoire. As a composer, Pletnev’s works include the Classical Symphony, Quintet for Piano and Strings, Triptych for Symphony Orchestra, Fantasy on Kazakh Themes for Violin and Orchestra, and Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra. In December 1998, the world première of his Concerto for Viola and Orchestra took place in Moscow, with Yuri Bashmet as soloist.

His stature in Russia was formally recognized in 1995, when he was awarded the First State Prize of the Russian Federation by President Yeltsin. In 2002, he again received this honour from President Putin.

The Russian National Orchestra
has been in demand throughout the music world ever since its 1990 Moscow premiere. Of the orchestra’s 1996 debut at the BBC Proms in London, the Evening Standard wrote, “They played with such captivating beauty that the audience gave an involuntary sigh of pleasure.”

The first Russian orchestra to perform at the Vatican and in Israel, the RNO maintains an active international tour schedule, appearing in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Guest artists performing with the RNO on tour include conductors Vladimir Jurowski, Nicola Luisotti, Antonio Pappano, Alan Gilbert and Carlo Ponti, and soloists Martha Argerich, Yefim Bronfman, Lang Lang, Pinchas Zukerman, Sir James Galway and Joshua Bell, among many others. Popular with radio audiences worldwide, RNO concerts are regularly aired by National Public Radio in the United States and by the European Broadcasting Union.

The orchestra has made several recordings for PENTATONE. The RNO’s recording of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Beintus’s Wolf Tracks, conducted by Kent Nagano and narrated by Sophia Loren, Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev, received a 2004 Grammy Award, making the RNO the first Russian orchestra to win the recording industry’s highest honor. The orchestra’s Shostakovich cycle on PENTATONE is widely acclaimed as “the most exciting cycle of the Shostakovich symphonies to be put down on disc, and easily the best recorded” (

A regular visitor to the Schleswig-Holstein, Gstaad and Rheingau festivals, the RNO is also the founding orchestra of Napa Valley Festival del Sole, Festival of the Arts BOCA in Florida, and the Singapore Sun Festival, and resident orchestra for multiple seasons of the Tuscan Sun Festival in Cortona, Italy.

In recognition of both its artistry and path-breaking structure, the Russian Federation recently awarded the RNO the first ever grant to a non-government orchestra.

This album contains no booklet.

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