The name of Alexander Sveshnikov (1890-1980) is intimately linked with the Russian choral culture of the Soviet era. During the 40+ years he spent as conductor of the USSR State Academic Chorus, founded in 1936, he commanded some of the best choral forces in all of Russia. He also vastly enriched the Russian choral repertoire with dozens of choral folk-song arrangements, not a surprising achievement at a time when arranging and performance of Russian Orthodox sacred music were severely suppressed. The West came to know the "Sveshnikov Chorus" through several LP albums released in the late 1960s and early 1970s on the Angel-Melodiya label. These LPs, which have become collectors' items, are now available in this remarkable gift set, remastered on CDs. Volume 1--a double CD set--and Volume 2 contain the best-known Sveshnikov songs; Volume 3 presents lesser-known recordings from the 1950s. These CDs will be enjoyed both for their "nostalgia quotient" and for their value as an historical monument to a period when choral singing in Russia survived the total fracturing and redefinition of "culture." The attractively designed booklet has titles and information in Russian and English. A must for all serious collectors!--V.M.