Balalaika Favorites: Works by Andreyev, Budashkin, Gorodovskaya, Kulikov, Mikhailov-Shalayev, Mossolov, Osipov, Poponov, Rimsky-Korsakov, Shishakov, Soloviev-Sedoy, Tchaikovsky - The Osipov State Russian Folk Orchestra conducted by Vitaly Gnutov The balalaika is not a difficult instrument to describe: it has a triangular body, three strings and a fretted neck. It is far more difficult to describe the inherent values of this national instrument, of which there is a whole family with sizes ranging from the piccolo and alto to the bass and double bass. Accordingly a wide variety of timbral colouring can be achieved, which together with a broad repertoire is exploited to the full by a traditional ensemble such as the Osipov Orchestra. With their performances of arrangements of well-known, romantic Russian pieces, popular adaptations and waltzes, this professional orchestra gives us an insight into the spirited and highly entertaining world of a living musical culture. No different from a classical orchestra, the arrangements are rich in soloistic interludes. Alongside the domra, an instrument with three or four strings, we hear a xylophone, ancient wind instruments and the sonorous, rippling bajan (button accordion). This recording goes back to the roots of Russian music and rightly occupies an important position in our Russian Edition. Recording: June 1962 in Bolshoi Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Moscow, Russia, by C.R. Fine and Robert Eberenz / Production: Wilma Cozart.