Elektra Nonesuch has released the official soundtrack recording to "The Civil War," the five-part documentary by Ken Burns that has become the most popular offering ever presented on public television.

The series, which made its debut the week of Sept. 23, traces the personal and political fortunes of both the leaders and the soldiers who were involved in America's greatest internal conflict.Among the well-known American songs featured in "The Civil War" are "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Dixie," "Shenandoah" and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

The theme music to the series, "Ashokan Farewell," a haunting fiddle tune, opens and closes the 30-track recording. It also includes two spoken word excerpts - an opening track taken from writings of Oliver Wendell Holmes, and a reading of a love letter from a Union soldier to his wife which serves as the finale of the recording.

"The Civil War" will be rebroadcast in its entirety on most PBS stations beginning in mid-December and continuing into early 1991.