Along with Swan Lake, The Nutcracker represents one of Tchaikovsky's most popular and most-performed works. Based on E.T.A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker And The Mouse King, the piece was commissioned in 1891 and first performed in St Petersberg the following year. The story of enchanted toys and Christmas magic has become a firm favourite, and the piece was the first historically to make orchestral use of the Celesta. As a work of previously unrivalled orchestration, the piece has become vital reading for those studying the development of the orchestra, or important Romantic works.