CD Review: Brete “The Nutcracker Suite Electronique”

If you like Christmas music, you have plenty of music to choose from. From classical to jazz, from blues to rock and everything in between, there are albums for every taste and in every style.

Back in 2006, instrumental musician Brete (pronounced Brett) released the next style of Christmas album with his CD entitled The Nutcracker Suite Electronique, a new take on the classic symphony The Nutcracker Suite by Peter Tchaikovsky. As the title of the album suggests, Brete’s music is synthesizer-based, giving this album a different feel than most of what’s out there. I thought it was appropriate, at this time of year, to let you know about an album that you might have missed.

The Nutcracker Suite Electronique is an album that was made by Brete, a musician that has his roots in classical training, having learned to play cello, drums and percussion, bass and keyboards. It is his classical training, and the time he spent in the band Asylum, which shaped Brete’s musical style, a style that is just right to have created this album of electronic Christmas music.

Having been performed using the synthesizer, The Nutcracker Suite Electronique brings the original composition into the 21st Century. Using drum tracks, Brete has given the movements of the composition a beat.
Each movement has a different beat, a different feel. Depending on the tracks, there are different modern dance music styles to the songs. Some of the best tracks on the disc are: The Miniature Overture, which has an Electronica feel; Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, which features a House feel; and Arabian Dance, which has an Ambient feel to it.

If you are reading this and asking yourself, “Why would anyone change The Nutcracker Suite into dance music?” just remember that when the original composition was written, the music was for a ballet, which is a form of dance. Taking the music and giving it a modern beat makes it current with the music of today, like the original version was current with the music of that time period.

Along with the movements from The Nutcracker Suite, Brete has also included his versions of other classical works. The best track of the non-Nutcracker pieces is the Drum-N-Bass song entitled Dagger Dance.
Brete has had such a response to this album that he took the next step: He took the tracks on the CD, added a few more movements from the symphony, and will be performing the music as the backdrop to a new modern dance version of the ballet with The Santa Monica Contemporary Ballet and Dance Company on December 18-21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.

Hopefully, the new version of the ballet will be a hit that Brete will do another production of the live show next year. If you cannot make it to the performances, you can still check out the album that inspired the new interpretation of the ballet.

This album may not be for everyone. There are some people who might have a problem with someone changing a symphony that has existed for centuries into something more modern. However, if you have an open mind and like new and different things, Brete has created an album that you should check out.

To check out The Nutcracker Suite Electronique and other music by Brete, check him out at www.madnutcracker.com. You can also find Brete’s Nutcracker music on Myspace at www.myspace.com/madnutcracker.

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BRÈTE: The Nutcracker Suite ElectroniqueBuy the CD