About This Song
The original Nutcracker Suite Op. 71a consisted of eight sections: “Overture”, “Russian Dance”, “Arabian Dance”, “Chinese Dance”, “The Waltz of the Flowers”, “The Dance of the Reed Flutes”, “March of the Wooden Soldiers,” and “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” (regarded as the most popular Nutcracker song). The Russian Romantic era music of The Nutcracker was groundbreaking in its time, introducing a new French instrument, the celesta, to the classical stage. The celesta is similar in appearance to a piano but contains metal plates instead of strings. The strings are hit by hammers, producing a very soft, bell-like sound. The very first production of The Nutcracker was held at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia on December 18, 1892. Ballerina Antoinetta Dell-Era danced as the first Sugar Plum Fairy. Tchaikovsky’s ever-present masterpiece will continue to morph giving us reed flutes, mirlitons, and marzipan for years to come. Mr. Pasero began the transcription from the orchestral score in 1982 and completed the work in 1984, recording it in 1985. It was first released on vinyl records, then cassette tape, CD, and now downloads and streaming.