The Nutcracker, out now on Apple Music October 07 2016

From the very same hall in which it premiered, Valery Gergiev reveals his latest interpretation of Tchaikovsky's ballet masterpiece. Available now, only on Apple Music and iTunes.

Tchaikovsky was a pioneer, his music a new style that combined developments of the Western European musical tradition while remaining distinctively Russian. From an early age he relished stage works involving magic or fantasy such as Weber’s Der Freischütz and Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and after seeing Adolphe Adam’s Giselle he became a ballet devotee. His magical score, which includes The Dance of The Sugar-plum Fairy and Waltz of the Flowers, is loved the world over, with thousands of performances taking place each year

Closing this album is Tchaikovsky’s powerfully emotional Fourth Symphony. As the composer wrote, it is ‘patterned after Beethoven’s Fifth’ and it’s well known for the theme of ‘fate’, announced by the ominous recurring fanfare that holds the unique symphonic form together. Tempering the sweetness of The Nutcracker, this coupling displays two very different sides of Tchaikovsky’s music, showing a complex man who battled to balance inner turmoil as well as utmost joys. Reflected, perhaps, by the final line of his famous programme note: 

‘Reproach yourself and do not say that all the world is sad. Simple but strong joys do exist. Rejoice in other’s rejoicing. To live is still bearable.’

For exclusive video interviews with Valery Gergiev, follow the Mariinsky Orchestra on Apple Music here.