No ballet speaks Christmas more than The Nutcracker, written by Piotr IlyichTchaikovsky in 1891-2. The enchanting story was based on a fairy tale by E. T. A Hoffman called The Nutcracker and The Mouse King, but it was the dramatisation by Alexandre Dumas that the composer used as the starting point for his ballet. Little Clara, her brother Fritz, the giving of presents, the Nutcracker soldier, toys that come to life - all form the basis of the story which Tchaikovsky brought to life in one of his finest scores.More
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