Alfred News

Alfred Releases Popular Strayhorn/Ellington Arrangement of The Nutcracker Suite

LOS ANGELES, CA  -  Thursday, December 23, 2010

Alfred is proud to partner with the Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington estates to release the famous jazzy arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Suite, as performed by the Duke Ellington Orchestra. This release, edited by Jeff Lindberg for level 6 jazz ensembles, marks the first time in history the authentic transcription of this legendary piece is available for sale.

Originally arranged in 1960 by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, the Alfred arrangement was assembled from the original manuscripts held in the Strayhorn Repository and the Ellington Collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. For purposes of accuracy, the manuscripts were cross-checked carefully with the original Duke Ellington Orchestra recording.

"I took it to my school music class in 1961 as part of our show-and-tell," said Alyce Claerbaut, President of Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc. "My teacher gave it back to me and said that this was not the kind of music we study in school and this is not the way we treat such great classics such as Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. This was of course before the development of jazz education curricula. Today, things are different. It is amazing how far schools have come with jazz education. The presentation of this work is becoming a common holiday practice - how great it is to finally get the original score!"

The piece is available for $399 and includes a full set of score and parts for all of the nine movements.

The Nutcracker Suite is part of the new Jazz Legends Series that was added in 2010 to Alfred’s prestigious Belwin Jazz catalog of performance music for jazz ensembles. The series will include new releases each year of jazz classics arranged for advanced school jazz ensembles, community bands, or university-level ensembles.

Also available from the Jazz Legends series is Hark for Duke's Trumpets, which was sometimes known as Hark! The Duke’s Trumpets. This piece was composed and arranged by Billy Strayhorn for the Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1956 and is edited by Jeff Lindberg for level 4 jazz ensembles. This classic arrangement has no trumpets—just saxes, trombones, and rhythm section. A score and parts set is available for $70.

Other arrangements of Strayhorn pieces published by Alfred include Take the ‘A’ Train, Isfahan, Chelsea Bridge, and various selections in Volume 1 of Alfred’s Jazz Play-Along Series titled Strayhorn & More.

Pick up your copy of The Nutcracker Suite jazz ensemble arrangement from your favorite music retailer, or buy it today at alfred.com.