Music recording certification
Music recording certification is a system of certifying that a music recording has shipped, sold, or streamed a certain number of units. The threshold quantity varies by nation or territory. All countries follow variations of the RIAA certification categories, which are named after precious materials; the threshold required for these awards depends upon the population of the territory where the recording is released. They are awarded only to international releases and are awarded individually for each country where the album is sold. Different sales levels, some 10 times lower than others, may exist for different music media; the original gold and silver record awards were presented to artists by their own record companies to publicize their sales achievements. The first silver disc was awarded by Regal Zonophone to George Formby in December 1937 for sales of 100,000 copies of "The Window Cleaner"; the first gold disc was awarded by RCA Victor to Glenn Miller and His Orchestra in February 1942, celebrating the sale of 1.2 million copies of single "Chattanooga Choo Choo".
Another example of a company award is the gold record awarded to Elvis Presley in 1956 for one million units sold of his single "Don't Be Cruel". The first gold record for an LP was awarded by RCA Victor to Harry Belafonte in 1957 for the album Calypso, the first album to sell over 1,000,000 copies in RCA's reckoning. At the industry level, in 1958 the Recording Industry Association of America introduced its gold record award program for records of any kind, albums or singles, which achieved one million dollars in retail sales; these sales were restricted to U. S.-based record companies and did not include exports to other countries. For albums in 1968, this would mean shipping 250,000 units; the platinum certification was introduced in 1976 for the sale of one million units for albums and two million for singles, with the gold certification redefined to mean sales of 500,000 units for albums and one million for singles. No album was certified platinum prior to this year. For instance, the recording by Van Cliburn of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto from 1958 would be awarded a platinum citation, but this would not happen until two decades after its release.
In 1999, the diamond certification was introduced for sales of ten million units. In the late 1980s, the certification thresholds for singles were dropped to match that of albums; the first official designation of a "gold record" by the Recording Industry Association of America was established for singles in 1958, the RIAA trademarked the term "gold record" in the United States. On 14 March 1958, the RIAA certified its first gold record, Perry Como's hit single "Catch a Falling Star"; the Oklahoma! Soundtrack was certified as the first gold album four months later. In 1976, RIAA introduced the platinum certification, first awarded to the Eagles compilation album Their Greatest Hits on 24 February 1976, to Johnnie Taylor's single "Disco Lady" on 22 April 1976; as music sales increased with the introduction of compact discs, the RIAA created the Multi-Platinum award in 1984. Diamond awards, honoring those artists whose sales of singles or albums reached 10,000,000 copies, were introduced in 1999.
In the 20th century, for a part of the first decade of the 21st, it was common for distributors to claim certifications based on their shipments – wholesale to retail outlets – which led to many certifications which outstripped the actual final retail sales figures. This became much less common once the majority of retail sales became paid digital downloads and digital streaming. In most countries certifications no longer apply to physical media but now include sales awards recognizing digital downloads. In June 2006, the RIAA certified the ringtone downloads of songs. Streaming from on-demand services such as Apple Music, Spotify and Napster has been included into existing digital certification in the U. S since 2013 and the U. K. and Germany since 2014. In the U. S. and Germany video streaming services like YouTube, VEVO, Yahoo! Music began to be counted towards the certification, in both cases using the formula of 100 streams being equivalent to one download. Other countries, such as Denmark and Spain, maintain separate awards for digital download singles and streaming.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry was founded in 1996, grants the IFPI Platinum Europe Award for album sales over one million within Europe and the Middle East. Multi-platinum Europe Awards are presented for sales in subsequent multiples of one million. Eligibility is unaffected by time, is not restricted to European-based artists; the Independent Music Companies Association was founded in 2000 to grow the independent music sector and promote independent music in the interests of artistic and cultural diversity. IMPALA sales awards were launched in 2005 as the first sales awards recognising that success on a pan-European basis begins well before sales reach one million; the award levels are Silver, Double Silver, Double Gold, Diamond and Double Platinum. Below are certification thresholds for the United States, United Kingdom and France; the numbers in the tables are in terms of "units", where a unit represents one sale or one shipment of a given medium. Certific
Swan Lake, Op. 20, is a ballet composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1875–76. Despite its initial failure, it is now one of the most popular of all ballets; the scenario in two acts, was fashioned from Russian and German folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger; the ballet was premiered by the Bolshoi Ballet on 4 March 1877 at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Although it is presented in many different versions, most ballet companies base their stagings both choreographically and musically on the 1895 revival of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov, first staged for the Imperial Ballet on 15 January 1895, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. For this revival, Tchaikovsky's score was revised by the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre's chief conductor and composer Riccardo Drigo. There is no evidence to prove who wrote the original libretto, or where the idea for the plot came from.
Russian and German folk tales have been proposed as possible sources, including "The White Duck" and "The Stolen Veil" by Johann Karl August Musäus, but both those tales differ from the ballet. One theory is that the original choreographer, Julius Reisinger, a Bohemian, created the story. Another theory is that it was written by Vladimir Petrovich Begichev, director of the Moscow Imperial Theatres at the time with Vasily Geltser, Danseur of the Moscow Imperial Bolshoi Theatre. Since the first published libretto does not correspond with Tchaikovsky's music in many places, one theory is that the first published version was written by a journalist after viewing initial rehearsals; some contemporaries of Tchaikovsky recalled the composer taking great interest in the life story of Bavarian King Ludwig II, whose life had been marked by the sign of Swan and could have been the prototype of the dreamer Prince Siegfried. However, Ludwig's death happened 10 years after the first performance of the ballet.
Begichev commissioned the score of Swan Lake from Tchaikovsky in May 1875 for 800 rubles. Tchaikovsky worked with only a basic outline from Julius Reisinger of the requirements for each dance. However, unlike the instructions for the scores of The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker, no written instruction is known to have survived. From around the time of the turn of the 19th century until the beginning of the 1890s, scores for ballets were always written by composers known as "specialists," who were skilled at scoring the light, decorative and rhythmically clear music, at that time in vogue for ballet. Tchaikovsky studied the music of "specialists" such as the Italian Cesare Pugni and the Austrian Ludwig Minkus, before setting to work on Swan Lake. Tchaikovsky had a rather negative opinion of the "specialist" ballet music until he studied it in detail, being impressed by the nearly limitless variety of infectious melodies their scores contained. Tchaikovsky most admired the ballet music of such composers as Léo Delibes, Adolphe Adam, Riccardo Drigo.
He would write to his protégé, the composer Sergei Taneyev, "I listened to the Delibes ballet Sylvia... What charm, what elegance, what wealth of melody and harmony. I was ashamed, for if I had known of this music I would not have written Swan Lake." Tchaikovsky most admired Adam's 1844 score for Giselle, which used the Leitmotif technique: associating certain themes with certain characters or moods, a technique he would use in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty. Tchaikovsky drew on previous compositions for his Swan Lake score. According to two of Tchaikovsky's relatives – his nephew Yuri Lvovich Davydov and his niece Anna Meck-Davydova – the composer had earlier created a little ballet called The Lake of the Swans at their home in 1871; this ballet included the Swan's Theme or Song of the Swans. He made use of material from The Voyevoda, an opera he had abandoned in 1868; the Grand adage from the second scene of Swan Lake was fashioned from an aria from that opera, as was the Valse des fiancées from the third scene.
Another number which included a theme from The Voyevoda was the Entr'acte of the fourth scene. By April 1876 the score was complete, rehearsals began. Soon Reisinger began setting certain numbers aside that he dubbed "undanceable." Reisinger began choreographing dances to other composers' music, but Tchaikovsky protested and his pieces were reinstated. Although the two artists were required to collaborate, each seemed to prefer working as independently of the other as possible. Tchaikovsky's excitement with Swan Lake is evident from the speed with which he composed: commissioned in the spring of 1875, the piece was created within one full year, his letters to Sergei Taneyev from August 1875 indicate, that it was not only his excitement that compelled him to create it so but his wish to finish it as soon as possible, so as to allow him to start on an opera. He created scores of the first three numbers of the ballet the orchestration in the fall and winter, was still struggling with the instrumentation in the spring.
By April 1876, the work was complete. Tchaikovsky's mention of a draft suggests the presence of some sort of abstract but no such draft has been seen. Tchaikovsky wrote various letters to friends expressing his longstanding desire to work with this type of music, his excitement concerning
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director and conductor, chiefly known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama, he described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, his compositions those of his period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration, the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated with individual characters, ideas, or plot elements. His advances in musical language, such as extreme chromaticism and shifting tonal centres influenced the development of classical music.
His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the start of modern music. Wagner had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which embodied many novel design features; the Ring and Parsifal were premiered here and his most important stage works continue to be performed at the annual Bayreuth Festival, run by his descendants. His thoughts on the relative contributions of music and drama in opera were to change again, he reintroduced some traditional forms into his last few stage works, including Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg; until his final years, Wagner's life was characterised by political exile, turbulent love affairs and repeated flight from his creditors. His controversial writings on music and politics have attracted extensive comment, since the late 20th century, where they express antisemitic sentiments; the effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts throughout the 20th century. Richard Wagner was born to an ethnic German family in Leipzig, who lived at No 3, the Brühl in the Jewish quarter.
He was baptized at St. Thomas Church, he was the ninth child of Carl Friedrich Wagner, a clerk in the Leipzig police service, his wife, Johanna Rosine, the daughter of a baker. Wagner's father Carl died of typhus six months after Richard's birth. Afterwards his mother Johanna lived with the actor and playwright Ludwig Geyer. In August 1814 Johanna and Geyer married—although no documentation of this has been found in the Leipzig church registers, she and her family moved to Geyer's residence in Dresden. Until he was fourteen, Wagner was known as Wilhelm Richard Geyer, he certainly thought that Geyer was his biological father. Geyer's love of the theatre came to be shared by his stepson, Wagner took part in his performances. In his autobiography Mein Leben Wagner recalled once playing the part of an angel. In late 1820, Wagner was enrolled at Pastor Wetzel's school at Possendorf, near Dresden, where he received some piano instruction from his Latin teacher, he struggled to play a proper scale at preferred playing theatre overtures by ear.
Following Geyer's death in 1821, Richard was sent to the Kreuzschule, the boarding school of the Dresdner Kreuzchor, at the expense of Geyer's brother. At the age of nine he was hugely impressed by the Gothic elements of Carl Maria von Weber's opera Der Freischütz, which he saw Weber conduct. At this period Wagner entertained ambitions as a playwright, his first creative effort, listed in the Wagner-Werk-Verzeichnis as WWV 1, was a tragedy called Leubald. Begun when he was in school in 1826, the play was influenced by Shakespeare and Goethe. Wagner was determined to set it to music, persuaded his family to allow him music lessons. By 1827, the family had returned to Leipzig. Wagner's first lessons in harmony were taken during 1828–31 with Christian Gottlieb Müller. In January 1828 he first heard Beethoven's 7th Symphony and in March, the same composer's 9th Symphony. Beethoven became a major inspiration, Wagner wrote a piano transcription of the 9th Symphony, he was greatly impressed by a performance of Mozart's Requiem.
Wagner's early piano sonatas and his first attempts at orchestral overtures date from this period. In 1829 he saw a performance by dramatic soprano Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient, she became his ideal of the fusion of drama and music in opera. In Mein Leben, Wagner wrote, "When I look back across my entire life I find no event to place beside this in the impression it produced on me," and claimed that the "profoundly human and ecstatic performance of this incomparable artist" kindled in him an "almost demonic fire."In 1831, Wagner enrolled at the Leipzig University, where he became a member of the Saxon student fraternity. He took composition lessons with the Thomaskantor Theodor Weinlig. Weinlig was so impressed with Wagner's musical ability, he arranged for his pupil's Piano Sonata in B-flat major to be published as Wagner's Op. 1. A year Wagner composed his Symphony in C major, a Beethovenesque work performed in Prague in 1832 and at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in 1833, he began to work on an opera, Die Hochzeit, which he never
Jacques Offenbach was a German-French composer and impresario of the romantic period. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s–1870s and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann, he was a powerful influence on composers of the operetta genre Johann Strauss, Jr. and Arthur Sullivan. His best-known works were continually revived during the 20th century, many of his operettas continue to be staged in the 21st; the Tales of Hoffmann remains part of the standard opera repertory. Born in Cologne, the son of a synagogue cantor, Offenbach showed early musical talent. At the age of 14, he was accepted as a student at the Paris Conservatoire but found academic study unfulfilling and left after a year. From 1835 to 1855 he earned his living as a cellist, achieving international fame, as a conductor, his ambition, was to compose comic pieces for the musical theatre. Finding the management of Paris' Opéra-Comique company uninterested in staging his works, in 1855 he leased a small theatre in the Champs-Élysées.
There he presented a series of his own small-scale pieces. In 1858, Offenbach produced his first full-length operetta, Orphée aux enfers, exceptionally well received and has remained one of his most played works. During the 1860s, he produced at least 18 full-length operettas, as well as more one-act pieces, his works from this period included La belle Hélène, La Vie parisienne, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein and La Périchole. The risqué humour and gentle satiric barbs in these pieces, together with Offenbach's facility for melody, made them internationally known, translated versions were successful in Vienna and elsewhere in Europe. Offenbach became associated with the Second French Empire of Napoleon III. Napoleon III granted him French citizenship and the Légion d'Honneur. With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, Offenbach found himself out of favour in Paris because of his imperial connections and his German birth, he remained successful in London, however. He re-established himself in Paris during the 1870s, with revivals of some of his earlier favourites and a series of new works, undertook a popular U.
S. tour. In his last years he strove to finish The Tales of Hoffmann, but died before the premiere of the opera, which has entered the standard repertory in versions completed or edited by other musicians. Offenbach was born Jacob or Jakob Offenbach to a Jewish family, in the German city of Cologne, a part of Prussia, his birthplace in the Großen Griechenmarkt was a short distance from the square, now named after him, the Offenbachplatz. He was the second son and the seventh of ten children of Isaac Juda Offenbach né Eberst and his wife Marianne, née Rindskopf. Isaac, who came from a musical family, had abandoned his original trade as a bookbinder and earned an itinerant living as a cantor in synagogues and playing the violin in cafés, he was known as "der Offenbacher", after his native town, Offenbach am Main, in 1808 he adopted Offenbach as a surname. In 1816 he settled in Cologne, where he became established as a teacher, giving lessons in singing, violin and guitar, composing both religious and secular music.
When Jacob was six years old, his father taught him to play the violin. As he was by the permanent cantor of the local synagogue, Isaac could afford to pay for his son to take lessons from the well-known cellist Bernhard Breuer. Three years the biographer Gabriel Grovlez records, the boy was giving performances of his own compositions, "the technical difficulties of which terrified his master", Breuer. Together with his brother Julius and sister Isabella, Jacob played in a trio at local dance halls and cafés, performing popular dance music and operatic arrangements. In 1833, Isaac decided that the two most musically talented of his children and Jacob needed to leave the provincial musical scene of Cologne to study in Paris. With generous support from local music lovers and the municipal orchestra, with whom they gave a farewell concert on 9 October, the two young musicians, accompanied by their father, made the four-day journey to Paris in November 1833. Isaac had been given letters of introduction to the director of the Paris Conservatoire, Luigi Cherubini, but he needed all his eloquence to persuade Cherubini to give Jacob an audition.
The boy's age and nationality were both obstacles to admission. Cherubini had several years earlier refused the 12-year-old Franz Liszt admission on similar grounds, but he agreed to hear the young Offenbach play, he listened to his playing and stopped him, saying, "Enough, young man, you are now a pupil of this Conservatoire." Julius was admitted. Both brothers adopted French forms of Julius becoming Jules and Jacob becoming Jacques. Isaac failed to do so and returned to Cologne. Before leaving, he found a number of pupils for Jules. At the conservatoire, Jules was a diligent student. By contrast, Jacques was bored by ac
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders"; as of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to 65% of the state's population. Indigenous Australians have inhabited the Sydney area for at least 30,000 years, thousands of engravings remain throughout the region, making it one of the richest in Australia in terms of Aboriginal archaeological sites. During his first Pacific voyage in 1770, Lieutenant James Cook and his crew became the first Europeans to chart the eastern coast of Australia, making landfall at Botany Bay and inspiring British interest in the area.
In 1788, the First Fleet of convicts, led by Arthur Phillip, founded Sydney as a British penal colony, the first European settlement in Australia. Phillip named the city Sydney in recognition of 1st Viscount Sydney. Penal transportation to New South Wales ended soon after Sydney was incorporated as a city in 1842. A gold rush occurred in the colony in 1851, over the next century, Sydney transformed from a colonial outpost into a major global cultural and economic centre. After World War II, it experienced mass migration and became one of the most multicultural cities in the world. At the time of the 2011 census, more than 250 different languages were spoken in Sydney. In the 2016 Census, about 35.8% of residents spoke a language other than English at home. Furthermore, 45.4% of the population reported having been born overseas, making Sydney the 3rd largest foreign born population of any city in the world after London and New York City, respectively. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, the 2018 Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Sydney tenth in the world in terms of quality of living, making it one of the most livable cities.
It is classified as an Alpha+ World City by Globalization and World Cities Research Network, indicating its influence in the region and throughout the world. Ranked eleventh in the world for economic opportunity, Sydney has an advanced market economy with strengths in finance and tourism. There is a significant concentration of foreign banks and multinational corporations in Sydney and the city is promoted as Australia's financial capital and one of Asia Pacific's leading financial hubs. Established in 1850, the University of Sydney is Australia's first university and is regarded as one of the world's leading universities. Sydney is home to the oldest library in Australia, State Library of New South Wales, opened in 1826. Sydney has hosted major international sporting events such as the 2000 Summer Olympics; the city is among the top fifteen most-visited cities in the world, with millions of tourists coming each year to see the city's landmarks. Boasting over 1,000,000 ha of nature reserves and parks, its notable natural features include Sydney Harbour, the Royal National Park, Royal Botanic Garden and Hyde Park, the oldest parkland in the country.
Built attractions such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House are well known to international visitors. The main passenger airport serving the metropolitan area is Kingsford-Smith Airport, one of the world's oldest continually operating airports. Established in 1906, Central station, the largest and busiest railway station in the state, is the main hub of the city's rail network; the first people to inhabit the area now known as Sydney were indigenous Australians having migrated from northern Australia and before that from southeast Asia. Radiocarbon dating suggests human activity first started to occur in the Sydney area from around 30,735 years ago. However, numerous Aboriginal stone tools were found in Western Sydney's gravel sediments that were dated from 45,000 to 50,000 years BP, which would indicate that there was human settlement in Sydney earlier than thought; the first meeting between the native people and the British occurred on 29 April 1770 when Lieutenant James Cook landed at Botany Bay on the Kurnell Peninsula and encountered the Gweagal clan.
He noted in his journal that they were somewhat hostile towards the foreign visitors. Cook was not commissioned to start a settlement, he spent a short time collecting food and conducting scientific observations before continuing further north along the east coast of Australia and claiming the new land he had discovered for Britain. Prior to the arrival of the British there were 4,000 to 8,000 native people in Sydney from as many as 29 different clans; the earliest British settlers called the natives Eora people. "Eora" is the term the indigenous population used to explain their origins upon first contact with the British. Its literal meaning is "from this place". Sydney Cove from Port Jackson to Petersham was inhabited by the Cadigal clan; the principal language groups were Darug and Dharawal. The earliest Europeans to visit the area noted that the indigenous people were conducting activities such as camping and fishing, using trees for bark and food, collecting shells, cooking fish. Britain—before that, England—and Ireland had for a long time been sending their convicts across the Atlantic to the American colonies.
That trade was ended with the Declaration of Independence by the United States in 1776. Britain decided in 1786 to found a new penal outpost in the territory discovered by Cook some 16 years ear
The Nutcracker is a two-act ballet choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from E. T. A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". Although the original production was not a success, the 20-minute suite that Tchaikovsky extracted from the ballet was. However, the complete Nutcracker has enjoyed enormous popularity since the late 1960s and is now performed by countless ballet companies during the Christmas season in North America. Major American ballet companies generate around 40% of their annual ticket revenues from performances of The Nutcracker; the ballet's score has been used in several film adaptations of Hoffmann's story. Tchaikovsky's score has become one of his most famous compositions. Among other things, the score is noted for its use of the celesta, an instrument that the composer had employed in his much lesser known symphonic ballad The Voyevoda. After the success of The Sleeping Beauty in 1890, Ivan Vsevolozhsky, the director of the Imperial Theatres, commissioned Tchaikovsky to compose a double-bill program featuring both an opera and a ballet.
The opera would be Iolanta. For the ballet, Tchaikovsky would again join forces with Marius Petipa, with whom he had collaborated on The Sleeping Beauty; the material Petipa chose was an adaptation of E. T. A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King", by Alexandre Dumas called "The Story of a Nutcracker"; the plot of Hoffmann's story was simplified for the two-act ballet. Hoffmann's tale contains a long flashback story within its main plot titled "The Tale of the Hard Nut", which explains how the Prince was turned into the Nutcracker; this had to be excised for the ballet. Petipa gave Tchaikovsky detailed instructions for the composition of each number, down to the tempo and number of bars; the completion of the work was interrupted for a short time when Tchaikovsky visited the United States for twenty-five days to conduct concerts for the opening of Carnegie Hall. Tchaikovsky composed parts of The Nutcracker in Rouen, France; the first performance of the ballet was held as a double premiere together with Tchaikovsky's last opera, Iolanta, on 18 December 1892, at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Although the libretto was by Marius Petipa, who choreographed the first production has been debated. Petipa began work on the choreography in August 1892. Although Ivanov is credited as the choreographer, some contemporary accounts credit Petipa; the performance was conducted by Riccardo Drigo, with Antonietta Dell'Era as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Pavel Gerdt as Prince Coqueluche, Stanislava Belinskaya as Clara, Sergei Legat as the Nutcracker-Prince, Timofey Stukolkin as Drosselmeyer. Unlike in many productions, the children's roles were performed by real children – students of the Imperial Ballet School in Saint Petersburg, with Belinskaya as Clara, Vassily Stukolkin as Fritz – rather than adults; the first performance of The Nutcracker was not deemed a success. The reaction to the dancers themselves was ambivalent. While some critics praised Dell'Era on her pointework as the Sugar Plum Fairy, one critic called her "corpulent" and "podgy". Olga Preobrajenskaya as the Columbine doll was panned by one critic as "completely insipid" and praised as "charming" by another.
Alexandre Benois described the choreography of the battle scene as confusing: "One can not understand anything. Disorderly pushing about from corner to corner and running backwards and forwards – quite amateurish."The libretto was criticized as "lopsided" and for not being faithful to the Hoffmann tale. Much of the criticism focused on the featuring of children so prominently in the ballet, many bemoaned the fact that the ballerina did not dance until the Grand Pas de Deux near the end of the second act; some found the transition between the mundane world of the first scene and the fantasy world of the second act too abrupt. Reception was better for Tchaikovsky's score; some critics called it "astonishingly rich in detailed inspiration" and "from beginning to end, melodious and characteristic". But this was not unanimous as some critics found the party scene "ponderous" and the Grand Pas de Deux "insipid". In 1919, choreographer Alexander Gorsky staged a production which eliminated the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier and gave their dances to Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, who were played by adults instead of children.
This was the first production to do so. An abridged version of the ballet was first performed outside Russia in Budapest in 1927, with choreography by Ede Brada. In 1934, choreographer Vasili Vainonen staged a version of the work that addressed many of the criticisms of the original 1892 production by casting adult dancers in the roles of Clara and the Prince, as Gorsky had; the Vainonen version influenced several productions. The first complete performance outside Russia took place in England in 1934, staged by Nicholas Sergeyev after Petipa's original choreography. Annual performances of the ballet have been staged there since 1952. Another abridged version of the ballet, performed by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, was staged in New York City in 1940, Alexandra Fedorova – again, after Petipa's version; the ballet's first complete United States performance was on 24 December 1944, by the San Francisco Ballet, staged by its