As it happens, EMI's set doesn't include the Dvorak, which makes this excellent transfer doubly welcome. Slava's rich tone, rapt, soft playing and distinctive phrasing are usefully complemented by Sir Adrian Boult's structure-conscious conducting, while the Saint-Saens A minor Concerto - a delightful work crammed full of gorgeous tunes - finds Rostropovich summoning an impressive repertoire of virtuoso gestures. Again, the conducting is both expert and assured, whereas the closing selection of short pieces employs the talents of pianist Alexander Dedyukhin. It's a dazzling sequence, whether dancing among David Popper's elves or singing wordless in Rachmaninov's Vocalise.
Slava can make us laugh with Debussy's Minstrels or dream with Clair de lune; but perhaps the most memorable track of all is the 11th Study from Scriabin's Op 8 as arranged by Piatigorsky - a tender aside among passionate embraces.