Sunday, December 19, 2010

Always Found Them Creepy

One of the New York Metro area's most beloved Christmas traditions is the New York City Ballet's peformance of George Balanchine's staging of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. I have to confess that I have always found the music to The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy to be creepy. Just ignore the visual of the lovely Victoria Luchkina dancing, and listen to the soundtrack- imagine that you've just broken down on a dark, secluded roadway on a freezing winter night, and imagine how you'd feel if you heard this music in the background:





I also find The Carol of the Bells to have a bit of a creepy horror-movie vibe, reminiscent of this:





Mind you, I do not dislike either of these pieces of music, but they both give me just the tiniest frisson of unease. To me, these songs aren't so much Christmas carols, as they are songs for the darkest days of the year.

8 comments:

M. Bouffant said...

The funereal pace of the Sugar Plum Fairy doesn't help any.

Someone should do a deliberately ominous orchestration.

P.S.: Try 400px or 420px for the width on those puppies.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

402 by 324!
~

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Someone should do a deliberately ominous orchestration.

You don't find the traditional orchestration ominous?

P.S.: Try 400px or 420px for the width on those puppies.

Grr... I've been using 425 for the longest time- could this problem have something to do with my refusal to upgrade my browser?

420px

VTHCR?

Von said...

sigh.
I am now forced to admit that these songs are creepy.
sigh.
I'll be boycotting Christmas this year.

Aunt Snow said...

The dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is a tour de force for the odd little keyboard instrument, the celeste.

While I was working in the tehatre/music business, I think I worked at least two productions of Nutcracker each year and inevitably it involved having to carry a celeste up or down a flight of stairs.

Years and years of hearing "Nutcracker" in a variety of different contexts has made its psychological mark on me. I've worked classical ballet versions, alternate modern dance versions, campy transvestite dance versions, just palin symphonic performances, and even Nutcracker on Ice. Even now, whenever I hear any passage of music from "The Nutcracker" I have an uncomfortable anticipatory feeling that I should be standing by waiting to pull a rope, move some scenery, or shine a spotlight on something.

M. Bouffant said...

Pavlov's Auntie!

It could be more ominoso.

Just a guesstimate on the pixels. Thunderetc. may be right; I couldn't be, you know, to look at YouTube.

Get to the dashboard & start fooling around w/ your template; your all-nighter will pass like nothin'!

Substance McGravitas said...

The obvious.

WV: worser. I shit you not.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Even now, whenever I hear any passage of music from "The Nutcracker" I have an uncomfortable anticipatory feeling that I should be standing by waiting to pull a rope, move some scenery, or shine a spotlight on something.

I hear ya, Aunt Snow, I can't walk into a theater without checking out the box booms.