Tune of the Day: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
The Nutcracker is a fairy tale-ballet in two acts, composed in 1891–92. In Western countries, it has become perhaps the most popular of all ballets, performed primarily around Christmas time.
The composer made a selection of eight of the numbers from the ballet, forming The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, intended for concert performance. Among these numbers is the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from Act II, which is particularly noted for its use of a celesta as a solo instrument.
Selections from the Nutcracker Suite were heard in the 1940 Disney animation film Fantasia. In this film, the music from The Nutcracker is accompanied by dancing fairies, mushrooms and fish (while the Nutcracker itself is nowhere in sight).
And of course the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” was featured in the 1990 Christmas film Home Alone with Macaulay Culkin.