Rimsky-Korsakov's "Sheherazade" is well represented in the CD catalogue. There are excellent recordings from the likes of Ozawa and Mackerras among others, with an exceptionally dramatic version from Kondrashin leading the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Until I heard Gergiev's splendid interpretation, Kondrashin's was the definitive recording, filled with much drama and passion, and blessed with excellent violin solos from Herman Krebbers, the Concertgebouw Orchestra's concertmaster. Here Gergiev goes a bit further than Kondrashin did, rendering a passionately lyrical, dramatic performance which shows the Kirov Orchestra at the top of its form. He leads the Kirov Orchestra in a brisk interpretation, emphasizing the score's rich textures, gently molding phrases and motifs. The violin soloist - presumably the Kirov's concertmaster - performances are far more lyrical and nuanced than those I heard from Krebbers, still excellent after nearly a quarter of a century. Phillips has produced one of its best recordings of Gergiev and the Kirov at their home in Saint Petersburg's Mravinsky Theater. The shorter works by Borodin and Balakirev are splendid codas at the end of this marvellous CD.