Another reviewer says "Welcome reissue" and I will underline that with "INDEED". This was an album I first saw in a record store years ago and purchased. (So I even have a libretto - not included with the CD release.) Tchaikovsky was trying to do a better job with the story than Verdi, and I am pretty sure he succeeded. The first act covers the English invasion of France and Joan's summons by the voices. The first portion of the act is exposition, but once you get to the Hymn for deliverance the act is incandescent. The second act deals with Joan (or Yoanna) being brought before King Charles. The third act centers more on her love for Lionel, and the last is Joan being burned at the stake.
This performance lives through the conducting of Gennady Rozhdestvensky. He can't have conducted it very frequently, but you would never know it. Scene after scene pulses with top-drawer Tchaikovsky. The requisite ballet in act two would make a great suite if combined with the Act One and Act Two preludes. If the fourth act is a little bit of a let-down, that is the concept of Tchaikovsky, who wanted to eschew the spectacle and concentrate on the personal side of Joan's immolation.
Joan is Irina Arkhipova and I can't imagine it being sung better. I've read good reports for other singers of the role, but either the sound of the recording was awful or the singer didn't deliver the goods that well. Arkhipova sings this soprano-mezzo role (Tchaikovsky could never decide completely) with incredible power and glorious tone. It is a fitting tribute to this artist that this recording was re-issued. Evghenyi Vladimirov is her father, and he makes a positive contribution in a relatively short (but important) role. Andrey Sokolov sings Raymond, Joan's fiancée. He sings only in the first act, and he conveys the drama well. Charles VII is Vladimir Makhov, and he is a bit of a trial. Granted this opera takes a lot of singers and asks a lot of them, but Makhov just doesn't quite get to some of the top notes in Act Two. Sergei Yakovenko as Lionel does much better and sings well in his duets with Joan.
Considering the in and out nature of Melodiya recordings, I would suggest you get this one while it's available. It is well worth it. (Projected delivery time was not right - it came sooner by several days.)