Tune of the Day: Final Waltz and Apotheosis
This is the very last number that Tchaikovsky wrote for his famous two-act ballet The Nutcracker.
During the past century, The Nutcracker has been subjected to many radically different reinterpretations of the story. Several productions of the work greatly change the ending of the ballet, but according to Roland John Wiley's Tchaikovsky's Ballets, the original libretto included the following description: “The apotheosis represents a large beehive with flying bees, closely guarding their riches.” Eight students from the Imperial Ballet School represented bees. We don't know what action, if any, was carried out in this scene; the apotheosis is not included in the early 20th-century choreographic notation of the ballet. Possibly, the scene was included as a nod to the Tsar, as bees traditionally represent prosperity. Ballets of this period sometimes included apotheosis scenes that seem to us unrelated, at least directly, to the ballet's plot.