There have been dozens of recordings of the Polovtsian Dancesfrom Alexander Borodin’s opera Prince Igorbut few of the opera itself, a monumental opus that Borodin worked on piecemeal over 18 years and left unfinished. It was edited and completed by Rimsky-Korsakov and his student Alexander Glazunov, the well-known overture being entirely Glazunov’s work. They omitted over half the music Borodin had sketched, and other performing editions have appeared subsequently.

Janine Micheau Janine Micheau. Photo © Tully Potter Collection, courtesy Universal Music Australia

The most ‘authentic’ edition, and also the best recorded performance, came from Valery Gergiev and Mariinsky Theatre forces, recorded by Philips in 1995. The first complete recording available in the West was made by British Decca engineers in 1955 with soloists, orchestra and chorus of the Belgrade Opera under the Bosnian conductor Oskar Danon, in the Rimsky/Glazunov edition. That early stereo set has now been...

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