Pyotr ilyich tchaikovsky - nutcracker suite / between birthdays

Piotr (or Peter, as we would say in English) Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born in Votkinsk, a town in Russia's Ural Mountains. When he was 8 years old, his family moved to the capital city of St. Petersburg. Even though Tchaikovsky was a good musician as a kid, that wasn't considered an "acceptable" profession, so his parents made him study law instead.

But even in law school, Tchaikovsky continued to study music. Eventually, he gave up his legal job and went to the St. Petersburg Conservatory. After he graduated, he moved to Moscow to teach at the new conservatory there. It's now named for him.

For years, Tchaikovsky had a patroness named Nadezhda von Meck -- a wealthy widow who was a big fan of Tchaikovsky's music. She regularly sent him money so that he could concentrate on composing without having to worry about making a living. But Nadezhda von Meck didn't want to meet Tchaikovsky. For 14 years, they only communicated by writing letters to each other. Tchaikovsky dedicated his Fourth Symphony to his patroness.

Tchaikovsky traveled all over Europe for performances of his music. In 1891, he even came to America for the opening of Carnegie Hall, where he was invited to conduct his music.

He had been commissioned to set to music a popular family story called 'The Nutcracker and the Mouse-King', a festive favourite which begins on Christmas Eve in the house of two young children, Clara and Fritz. The family is gathered around the Christmas tree. Soon, they welcome the arrival of Uncle Drosselmeyer, who conveniently happens to be a toymaker with some suitable gifts in tow. Over the course of the next ninety minutes, the story encompasses waltzing snowflakes, a handsome prince and some warring mice, as the toys come to life and give Clara and Fritz a Christmas they will never forget.

There is a wonderfully vivid, pictorial quality to Tchaikovsky’s colourful music. From the elegant Waltz of the Flowers to the thrilling Russian Dance, the score is a feast of wonderful melodies. Other favourites include the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies and the Dance of the Reed Flutes. Tchaikovsky had several reservations about it – not surprising, given the less than ecstatic response to some of his earlier works – but the composer evidently had nothing to fear - it has become a perennial Christmas favourite on stage, and the music is adored all year round, with bold new interpretations cropping up year after year.

The scenario, initially in two acts, was fashioned from Russian folk tales [a] and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger (Václav Reisinger). The ballet was premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet on 4 March [ . 20 February] 1877 [1] [2] at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow . Although it is presented in many different versions, most ballet companies base their stagings both choreographically and musically on the 1895 revival of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov , first staged for the Imperial Ballet on 15 January 1895, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg . For this revival, Tchaikovsky's score was revised by the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre's chief conductor and composer Riccardo Drigo .

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Nutcracker Suite / Between BirthdaysPyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Nutcracker Suite / Between BirthdaysPyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Nutcracker Suite / Between BirthdaysPyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Nutcracker Suite / Between Birthdays