Shostakovich's Second Concerto, given on September 25th, 1967 under Evgeni Svetlanov (on the occasion of the composer's sixty-first birthday)...[is] magnificent (no rival version makes quite as much of the last movement's vicious brass fanfares)... The Shostakovich concertos disc couples the Second Concerto mentioned above with a forthright 1961 account of the First (under Rozhdestvensky) — impressive as ever... Disc II is of considerable historic importance in that sonatas by Shostakovich (Op. 40), Kabalevsky (Op. 71) and Karen Khachaturian (1966) are each accompanied by the composers themselves...
-- Gramophone [5/1997, reviewing 72016]
Kabalevsky accompanies Rostropovich in his B flat sonata in a world premiere performance made before the work’s final revision and publication. Then Karen Khachaturian appears, to lend his support in his own Sonata. This is a selection so self-recommending it hardly needs stating... New music, canonic repertory, multifaceted; a force - spiritual, musical, human - for good, Rostropovich is here captured in some of his many guises. A review such as this can only hope to suggest a small fraction of the rewards to be encountered, but it should also alert us all to the debt owed this indefatigable and remarkable man, whose playing so graced and profoundly illuminated the second half of the twentieth century and beyond.
-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International [reviewing the box set of
Rostropovich's complete EMI recordings
of which this set is a part]