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Chinese Dance – Woodwind Quintet


The Suite of movements extracted by Tchaikovsky from his ballet music for The Nutcracker was an immediate success. As prevalent as the complete ballet The Nutcracker is today, it is hard to imagine that it took years, and perhaps the staging of George Balanchine, for it to become popular.

Some of the most memorable pieces from the suite are the Characteristic Dances. In Act II of the ballet, these movements are employed to introduce different residents of the “Land of Sweets.”  Tchaikovsky’s orchestration makes adept use of wind instrument color. This translates very effectively in arrangements for the woodwind quintet.

The Chinese Dance (Danse chinoise), used to introduce Tea, employs low horn and bassoon in a constant rhythm. This contrasts the famous recurring upper register flute theme.

Composer: Mark Questad
Instrumentation: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, F Horn & Bassoon
Duration/# of Pages: ca. 1:05 / 10 pages, 8.5″ x 11″
Key: Bb

Score & Parts $15.00