Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite by Anna Harwell Celenza

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Synopsis

It's a challenge to transform the "Nutcracker Suite's" romantic orchestra into jumpin' jazz melodies, but that's exactly what Duke Ellington and his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, did.

Ellington's band memebers were not so sure that a classical ballet could become a cool-cat jazz number. But Duke and Billy, inspired by their travels and by musical styles past and present, infused the composition with Vegas glitz, Hollywood glamour, and even a little New York jazz.

CD recording of the Ellington/Strayhorn composition included.
 

About Anna Harwell Celenza

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Anna Harwell Celenza is a musicologist and the author of several books for adults and children regarding music history and the history of art. Her children's books include THE FAREWELL SYMPHONY, PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION, GERSHWIN'S RHAPSODY IN BLUE, and VIVALDI'S FOUR SEASONS. Anna lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
 
Published July 1, 2011 by Charlesbridge. 32 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography, Travel, Children's Books, Biographies & Memoirs.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite

Kirkus Reviews

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Text and art sync around the premise that the musical traditions and global influences of the cities in which Duke and “Strays” worked—L.A., New York, New Orleans, Vegas—infused the evolving composition with distinct rhythms and cultural metaphors.

Sep 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Duke Ellington's Nutcracker S...

Publishers Weekly

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Putting a jazzy spin on the holiday, Celenza tells the true story of how Duke Ellington recorded his rendition of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.

Sep 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Duke Ellington's Nutcracker S...

Portland Book Review

The Sugar Plum Fairy became the sultry Sugar Rum Cherry, the Dance of the Reed Pipes became Toot Toot Tootie Toot and the Waltz of the Flowers became the Dance of the Floreadores.

Jul 19 2012 | Read Full Review of Duke Ellington's Nutcracker S...

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