nutcracker suite 001


Arabian Dance


Rumor has it that Tchaikovsky wrote this on a wager with a friend or that he wanted to write a ballet based on a fairy tale. While Tchaikosky was not overly pleased with the work it has gone on to become extremely popular with parts being used in films, television, and commercials. While the ballet is 85 minutes Tchaikovsky created a suite based on 8 selections as an orchestral suite. They are listed below.

I. Miniature Overture

II. Danses caractéristiques

a. Marche
b. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy [ending altered from ballet-version]
c. Russian Dance (Trepak)
d. Arabian Dance
e. Chinese Dance
f. Reed-Flutes

III. Waltz of the Flowers

This suite performed by the London Philharmonic conducted by J. Hollingsworth includes 11 tracks but all of the above are included plus the Coda Apotheosis, Mother Gigogne and the Clowns, and Pas de Deux.

Many of us have a favorite and I’m no exception with the “Arabian Dance” which offers a feeling of mystery with the reeds playing the melody and the tambourine with it’s distinct sound complementing the arrangement. That air of mystery makes think of Rimsky- Korsakov another of my favorite composers. Another of my favorite tracks is the “Russian Dance” a lively raucous tempo and orchestration that will wake you up without the aid of any caffeine! “The Dance of the Flutes,” “Chinese Dance,” “Waltz of the Flowers,” “March,” often confused for other tracks, and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” are also fun to listen to and quite varied from track to track.

Everyone should have this as part of their Xmas music for the holiday season. I don’t know about you but I got rather tired of listening to Elvis, Kenny G., and Bing Crosby and this was a very nice change.

Track Listing:

1…. March (2:27)

2…. Overture (15:22)

3…. Arabian Dance (2:55)

4…. Chinese Dance (1:07)

5…. Russian Dance (1:08)

6…. Dance of the Flutes (2:20)

7…. Mother Gigogne and the Clowns (2:48)

8…. Waltz of the Flowers (6:38)

9…. Pas de Deux (5:02)

10.. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (1:49)

11.. Coda Apotheosis (3:07)

Total Time is 44:48