When the evenings grow longer, the autumn leaves begin to fall and Jack Frost calls during the night, then it is time to conjure up the magic world of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker while relaxing in front of a crackling fire. In this double album you will hear the delightfully varied ballet music in its entirety and not just the usual highlights. Each and every one of the highly individual numbers, be it a dance, a march or a waltz, is enchanting with its ever varying orchestral colouring, here merry and impudent and tripping along lightly without a care in the world, there sturdy and vigourous, even coarse.
The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, led by its conductor of many years standing, Ernest Ansermet, is very much at home in Russian repertoire and masters the occasional immense difficulties of the score with bravado. The DECCA team has once again proved its worth and leaves any nuts which still need to be cracked to the hi-fi equipment – the airy strings, the delicate triangles, the thrill of cymbals clashing, and the wooden clack of the castanets. And if, by an amazing coincidence, the heating should fail when you are listening to this record, there is no reason to worry – this music is guaranteed to warm the cockels of your heart and keep Jack Frost from the door. This classic is reference quality!