|Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
SACD Mix ••••
At just over 73 minutes, the "Favorite Selections" here are roughly 8 minutes shy of a complete version. This slight accommodation to SACD capacity isn't a serious concern when the performance is as spirited and the recording as satisfying as this one by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops. Having been associated with this orchestra for more than 40 years, Kunzel has the full measure of his fine players. Tchaikovsky's familiar ballet score sounds fresh, energetic, and - oh, Humbug!, it's good to be reminded just how brilliant it is. The 5-channel sound captured by the renowned Telarc team of producer Robert Woods and engineer Michael Bishop has a truly spacious openness, allowing you to imagine the stage setting - complete with toys, snowflakes, and sugar-plum fairy, right in your listening room.
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