First, the music: Khatchaturian was a master composer and richly endowed melodist. To the score of Spartacus he brought this rich palette, exotic, strongly rhythmic, and often redolent of the celebrated Sabre Dance that brought him to the top of the postwar classical music charts. In this ballet that celebrates manliness, there is a great emphasis on superb male physics and athletically splendid feats. As with the preceding Raymonda, the excellent cinematography and direction is the work of Shuji Fujii. The audio quality also leaves nothing to be desired - another Bolshoi winner!