During the Christmas just gone I intended to post a complete Nutcracker. There was nothing I could find on YouTube that made the grade, including the admired LSO/Dorati Mercury recording, his second version of it, which I have long found hard-driven and unsympathetic and did so again (Dorati’s third and final taping of the score – with the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra – is preferable). So, with all conscience, I let the idea go.

This morning, quite by chance, I found this Rotterdam account which serves admirably one of music’s miracles. Nézet-Séguin’s conducting is ideally affectionate, flexible, airily textured and ‘Pas de deux’ passionate.

Footnote: When Iolanta, Tchaikovsky’s final opera, was first-performed, http://www.colinscolumn.com/berliner-philharmoniker-kirill-petrenko-conducts-tchaikovskys-iolanta-live-digital-concert-hall-webcast-sung-in-russian-with-german-and-english-surtitles/, Nutcracker was the other half of a lengthy double-bill.