Saturday, February 23, 2008

Duke Ellington's Version of The Nutcracker Suite Heard in Edmonton

[The Definitive Duke Ellington; Sony 61444 (2000)]

E-J's Take: ESO Jazz Masters” is a post on a performance by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Musical Director Bill Eddins of Edmonton, Alberta, Friday, Feb. 22 at the Winspear Centre. The African American composer and pianist Duke Ellington was best known for his huge repertoire of jazz works, but he was also an accomplished classical composer. Several of his classical compositions are discussed at his page at

The final piece the orchestra performed tonight was Duke Ellington's rendition of the Nutcracker Suite. Since I have enjoyed Ellington's music my entire life, this was one of my favorite pieces performed tonight. (oh yes, it was a very hard choice) It was very interesting to hear as familiar a piece as the Nutcracker performed in a jazz setting, as it is normally a strictly orchestral performance. It contained revisions of the Overture, the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Waltz of the Flowers, Dance of the Reed Pipes and a March, all cleverly renamed to match the jazziness of the performance. Undoubtedly, my favorite section in this performance was the march, which was cleverly renamed as the Peanut Brittle Brigade.” Full Post

Duke+Ellington" rel="tag">Duke Ellington
Nutcracker+Suite" rel="tag">Nutcracker Suite
Classical+Ellington" rel="tag">Classical Ellington
Black+Composer" rel="tag">Black Composer
Edmonton+Symphony" rel="tag">Edmonton Symphony
Ellington+Adaptation" rel="tag">Ellington Adaptation

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