This set of Shostakovich piano and chamber music contains the admirable performance of the titanic Op. 87 Preludes and Fugues by Vladimir Ashkenazy, recorded in 1999, which if bought alone (it's still available) would cost about as much as this whole set. Whatever the price, Ashkenazy's Op. 87 is a marvelous performance -- clean, relaxed, incisive, musical. I would set it beside some other wonderful recordings already available: Nikolayevna, Melnikov, Jalbert, Jenny Lin and the incomplete Sviatoslav Richter. Considering that Ashkenazy made this recording after he'd already been more or less retired from the keyboard, pursuing his conducting career, it is a marvel.
Other highlights on the set are the Second Piano Sonata and the Piano Quintet (the latter with the Fitzwilliam Quartet) played by Ashkenazy. The magnificent Op. 67 Piano Trio is present in the never-bested recording by the Beaux Arts Trio, recorded in 1974 but but not sounding any the less for wear. And of course the rarely heard Cello Sonata with Lynn Harrell and Ashkenazy. Lilya Silberstein plays a very nice First Piano Sonata.
The only less than wonderful performance in the set is of the set of Op. 31 Preludes by Olli Mustonen. It rarely rises above tepid, in my opinion, although I gather there are others who admire it. As the Preludes occupy much of CD #4, I've given the set four rather than five stars.
This excellent set is worth having, especially at this price.