Melanie Spanswick: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
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In its original, dazzlingly inventive orchestration, the sound of the sugar plum fairy is defined by the celesta, which was a much-coveted, little-heard new instrument at the time of the ballet’s premiere in December 1892 – the composer’s last Christmas – in St Petersburg. Indeed the story goes that the celesta was smuggled in and out of the Mariinsky Theatre under wraps during rehearsals, so that this moment would retain its magic for the audience. This is a simple arrangement by Melanie Spanswick.