This is a superb CD - no ifs or buts. The underrated second piano concerto is brilliantly played and the beauty, poise and poignancy of the second movement comes through fully. Melnikov makes it sound so much more profound than other recordings. The much earlier concerto for piano, trumpet and strings (an odd piece which I have never really warmed to) is also played very well. However, the star of this show is Shostakovich's 'difficult' late sonata for violin and piano, Opus 134. The first movement in particular has a searing intensity which is utterly breathtaking and I have never heard anyone - not even Oistrakh - play it as well as this. Shostakovich was clearly a soul in torment by the time that he wrote this piece, but nonetheless the brilliance, pathos and sheer indomitable humanity shines through incredibly strongly in this recording. Melnikov's own liner notes are both thoughtful and communicate very clearly the importance of this extraordinary piece of music.