Tchaikovsky’s three ballets – Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker – are all much-loved treasures of the balletic canon, having undergone countless performances and reinterpretations. Yet this was not always so. It took time for their status to be established, and reactions to the productions were decidedly mixed during Tchaikovsky’s lifetime. Particularly saddening is the fact that the great composer died believing Swan Lake, perhaps his most celebrated ballet today, to be a failure – although this is in part due to the fact that the choreography most associated with the work today was developed after his death. The Sleeping Beauty, meanwhile, suffered the insult of a lukewarm imperial reception on its presentation to Tsar Alexander III in 1890; and Tchaikovsky himself believed The Nutcracker to be an inferior work, ‘infinitely worse than Sleeping Beauty’, in his own words.
We are lucky, then, that choreographers, conductors and other artists have continued to acknowledge the value of these masterworks, and continued to develop them over many decades, bringing them into their current, incomparable form. On this CD, the sheer magic of the music is audible from start to finish, and Tchaikovsky’s audacious gift for melody-crafting is unmistakable. It is astonishing to imagine how far they have had to come.
The magnificent Royal Philharmonic Orchestra does justice to each musical world, under the baton of three different and seasoned conductors, each of whom very much makes his mark on these multi-interpretable works of genius.
- Recordings made in 1995, 2009 and 2010.
- All three ballets by Tchaikovsky in one release!
- Tchaikovsky’s ballets, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake, are by far the most popular ballet music ever written, and count among the master’s most famous works. Tchaikovsky, tormented genius, found relief in writing these brilliant, featherweight works, conjuring up fantasy worlds of feel good fairy tales. Some numbers have become top-10 Classical Favourites, such as the Flower Waltz, Waltz of the Swans, Dance of the Sugar plum Fairy and many more.
- Performances by the famous Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Booklet contains detailed notes on the music and plot of each work.