Tchaikovsky’s magical music for The Nutcracker isn’t just for Christmas. André Previn recorded the complete score twice for EMI (he re-recorded it digitally with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) and this first, with the LSO – May 1972, in the hallowed acoustic of Kingsway Hall – is a particular joy, Previn an affectionate conductor of it: persuasive pacing, vivid characterisation (without affectation), colourful incident, and, when required, passionate responses (Act II’s ‘Pas de deux’), the LSO on-song, and the sound is superbly remastered, a tribute to the engineer, the late Christopher Parker (the producer was Christopher Bishop), with the LPs’ livery restored for the cover. I would suggest, don’t miss this latest incarnation, for even if you still have the vinyl (I do) or a previous CD issue, the reproduction now glows in a way that I don’t believe it has before. Warner Classics 5419734650 (2 CDs).
Postscript: the Warner link promises selections from Previn’s Swan Lake … well, not on my copy! No matter.