This recording would be of special interest to those, who consider Valeriy Gergiev to be the greatest Russian conductor. Melik-Pashayev's version of the opera is one of the best on record. It has a very strong cast and the sound is more than good. Nelepp's Gherman is the only one, with the exeprtion of Atlantov, who the listener believes. Smolenskaya is not as strong as the other Bolshoi's Lizas - Xenia Derzhinskaya and Tamara Milashkina, but still very good. Lisitsian, not my favorite baritone, but as good as any other Yeletskiy and the Tomskiy of Alexey Ivanov is (with very tough competition) the best on record. The two mezzos are also interesting. Also recomended - Mark Ermler's version of i974.