Duo Symphonious, Zac Selissen & Michael T Roberts | The Portable Nutcracker

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Classical: Tchaikovsky Holiday: Kids/Family Moods: Mood: Christmas
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The Portable Nutcracker

by Duo Symphonious, Zac Selissen & Michael T Roberts

Tchaikovsky’s orchestral masterpiece, slimmed down—way down. Duo Symphonious has captured the soaring grandeur of The Nutcracker in the intimately beautiful voice of two classical guitars. A perennial classic refreshed with new color—and a few twists.
Genre: Classical: Tchaikovsky
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  song title
1. The Portable Nutcracker: Overture
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3:48 $0.99
2. The Portable Nutcracker: The Christmas Tree
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4:13 $0.99
3. The Portable Nutcracker: March of the Toy Soldiers
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2:50 $0.99
4. The Portable Nutcracker: A Forest of Fir Trees in Winter
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4:17 $0.99
5. The Portable Nutcracker: Chocolate (Spanish Dance)
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2:41 $0.99
6. The Portable Nutcracker: Coffee (Arabian Dance)
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3:43 $0.99
7. The Portable Nutcracker: Tea (Chinese Dance)
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3:09 $0.99
8. The Portable Nutcracker: Trepak (Russian Dance)
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1:04 $0.99
9. The Portable Nutcracker: Dance of the Mirlitons
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3:07 $0.99
10. The Portable Nutcracker: Mother Gigogne and the Clowns
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2:52 $0.99
11. The Portable Nutcracker: Waltz of the Flowers
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7:23 $0.99
12. The Portable Nutcracker: Pas De Deux Intrada
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5:05 $0.99
13. The Portable Nutcracker: Tarantella
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0:51 $0.99
14. The Portable Nutcracker: Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy
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2:49 $0.99
15. The Portable Nutcracker: Coda
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1:43 $0.99
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Album Notes
How Duo Symphonious Fell in Love with a 120-year-old Russian

Every music fan knows that The Nutcracker, Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece of a ballet, has been around the block a few times. Its melodies, hummable to all, feel like an old blanket—cozy and familiar for many, perhaps a little worn out for others.

I have a confession: I didn’t even know most of those melodies came from The Nutcracker until I studied the work as a composer at the San Francisco Conservatory. For me, it was a revelation, and I fell instantly, deeply in love. When Zac suggested we try arranging the music for two guitars, I practically jumped out of my chair to get started.

We soon found that when you distill a monumental work of 80 or 90 instruments down to a mere two, strange and miraculous things occur. There's no room for anything more than the true essence of the work, so you have to pare all that beauty into its simplest form.

As an orchestra becomes two guitars, new colors emerge; personalities are transformed. We found a tinge of bluegrass in the Chinese Dance, Latin overtones in the stately 'Waltz of the Flowers,' even some heavy metal in 'Mother Goose of the Clowns,' of all places. It's still Tchaikovsky, without a doubt. But it's also something else entirely. Whether the old blanket feels worn in or worn out to you, we hope The Portable Nutcracker lets you hear this amazing work with fresh ears.

—Mike Roberts


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