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These are unaccountably rarities to both concert hall and CD. The sonatas were championed quite late in life by Sviatoslav Richter, but his friend and compatriot Melnikov brings to them even more focus (and certainly more technical finesse), helped by a glorious-sounding 19th century Bösendorfer instrument and a warm, clear recording. The scherzo makes an unexpected but hugely welcome bonus.

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