The recorded sound is not in the top bracket, but it is still excellent. The playing of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine is very consistent; Theodore Kuchar does a good job of avoiding blandness. Only rarely does the orchestra sound as though it could be more polished.
The opening Queen of Spades Overture is a prologue divided into two sections much like the Sleeping Beauty Prologue (if not as memorably). Fatum, the next track, is a much underrated symphonic poem with many pleasing ideas. Kuchar strikes a convincing balance between too much and too little weight in his approach. The Voyevoda Overture is pleasing, if not as great as the later Symphonic Poem of the same name.
The three excerpts from the Maid of Orleans are splendid. The two dances are typical Tchaikovsky, full of energy, both delicious examples of his abilities to compose.
The remaining excerpts, including the somewhat well-known Gopak from Mazeppa, are all fine works, if not "great." As a Tchaikovskian, I am glad to have all of these works on one disc, given a good performance by Eastern European forces.