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“The ballet contains astoundingly progressive harmonies and a wealth of melodic invention that is deemed unsurpassed in ballet music”

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The Nutcracker 1978 - Ballet in 2 Acts - Running time: 1:41:33

Music by: P. I. Tchaikovsky based on E. T. A. Hoffmann’s fairy-tale

“The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”

Libretto: Marius Petipa  Choreography: Marius Petipa  Director: Yuri Grigorovich  

Production designer: Simon Virsaladze  Conductor: Alexander Kopylov

Performers: Masha Ekaterina Maximova  Nutcracker Prince Vladimir Vasilev 

Drosselmeyer (uncle) Victor Levashev  The Mouse King Sergei Radchenko

 Nutcracker doll Elena Vatulya


Yuri Grigorovich


Russian dancer, choreographer and director who dominated the Russian ballet for 30 years. Grigorovich was born into a family connected with the Imperial Russian Ballet. 

Grigorovich was artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet from 1964 - 1995.


Ekaterina Maximova spartacus.jpeg
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Ekaterina Maximova

Prima Ballerina

Maximova was born in MoscowSoviet Union. Maximova performed with the Bolshoi Ballet from 1958 until 1980, often performing opposite her husband Vladimir Vasiliev. Maximova enjoyed her greatest successes in GiselleSpartacusDon QuixoteCinderella and The Nutcracker

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was a Russian composer of the romantic period, whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States.


The Nutcracker speaks to the child in everyone, with its happy dreams of snow, presents, adventures, toys and wishes fulfilled. Despite Tchaikovsky’s most addictive score, the original 1892 ballet was considered a failure, too much plot in the first act, not enough plot in the second. Yuri Grigorovich’s 1966 staging at the Bolshoi, designed by Simon Virsaladze, revised the incomplete scenario to focus on the dreams of the teenaged Masha, who receives a nutcracker doll from her godfather at her family’s Christmas party.


Sneaking down at night to find her doll, Masha is swept up in a magical transformation where the Christmas tree grows to huge size and rats fight an epic battle with the toys. With her help, the toys win out, and the nutcracker turns into a handsome Prince.The walls dissolve into a magical realm of snow, dolls and delights, of which Masha is queen. She dances with her dream Prince, before waking up with the nutcracker doll on her lap.


Grigorovich’s production has become a firm favourite in Russia, beloved for its folk-tinged characters and festive atmosphere, and every young ballerina longs to dance Masha. The chance to see the legendarily captivating Ekaterina Maximova as Masha, alongside her great husband, Vladimir Vasiliev, as the Nutcracker, makes this 1978 live recording, digitally restored and remastered to HD quality, essential viewing.




Don’t just take our word for these amazing performances, please see these totally independent reviews.

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