The Breakthrough

Celesta No 1

The Celesta No. 1, an orchestral model, was presented to the public for the first time at the World Exposition in Paris in 1889. The instrument was awarded the Grand Prix de l’Expedition Universelle de Paris 1889 and Mustel received the order of Knight of the Legion of Honor.

On his way to the inauguration of Carnegie Hall in 1891, Tchaikovsky stopped over in Paris to visit Mustel and personally experience the sound of the instrument. Tchaikovsky was fascinated by the unique sound of the celesta and ordered an instrument on the spot.

He wrote The Nutcracker featuring the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” with its famous celesta solo. The world premiere of The Nutcracker at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg in December 1892 led to the international breakthrough of the instrument.

The heavenly sound of the celesta has enchanted the entire world of music ever since.

Peter Iljitsch Tschaikowski (1840-1893)

Peter Iljitsch Tschaikowski (1840-1893)