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Characteristic Dances from "The Nutcracker Suite"

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Peter I Tchaikovsky

Peter I Tchaikovsky (trans. Rogan; Rev. and Ed. McAlister and Alfred Reed)

The actual title of this work is Suite from 'The Nutcracker:' II. Characteristic Dances

General Info

Year: 1892 / 2001
Duration: c. 15:00
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Master Publications
Cost: Score and Parts - $110.00   |   Score Only - $20.00


Full Score
Piccolo/Flute III
Flute I-II
Oboe I
Oboe II/English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Eb Clarinet
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Eb Alto Clarinet
Bb Bass Clarinet
Bb Contrabass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Cornets I-II
Bb Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium (Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bells
  • Cymbals
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine


  • Euphonium BC : March: bar 37, the second 8th note should be an A natural, not A flat.

Program Notes

The second movement from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker contains some of the most colorful and familiar themes from the beloved ballet, including March; Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy; Russian Dance (Trepak); Arabian Dance; Chinese Dance and Dance of the Toy Flutes.

- Program Note by publisher

Tchaikovsky made a selection of eight of the numbers from the ballet before the ballet's December 1892 première, forming The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, intended for concert performance. The suite was first performed, under the composer's direction, on 19 March 1892 at an assembly of the St. Petersburg branch of the Musical Society. The suite became instantly popular, with almost every number encored at its premiere, while the complete ballet did not begin to achieve its great popularity until after the George Balanchine staging became a hit in New York City. The suite became very popular on the concert stage, and was featured in Disney's Fantasia. The Nutcracker Suite should not be mistaken for the complete ballet. The outline below represents the selection and sequence of the Nutcracker Suite culled by the composer.

I. Miniature Overture
II. Danses caractéristiques

  • a. Marche
  • b. Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy [ending altered from ballet-version]
  • c. Russian Dance (Trepak)
  • d. Arabian Dance
  • e. Chinese Dance
  • f. Reed Flutes

III. Waltz of the Flowers

Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.

Audio Links

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Whitehouse Wind Symphony (Somerville, N.J.) (James P. Sheeley, Jr., conductor) – 8 December 2019
  • San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Wind Orchestra (Jennifer Martin, conductor) – 17 December 2017
  • Walnut Creek (Calif.) Concert Band (Harvey Benstein, conductor) – 28 November 2017
  • Vienna (VA) Community Band {Cornelius A. Young, conductor} - 11 December 2016
  • Encore Concert Band (Mokena, Ill.) (Bill Schuetter, conductor) - 14 December 2014
  • Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Symphonic Band (New York City) (Kelly Watkins, conductor) - 12 December 2014

Works for Winds by this Composer

Adaptable Music

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