Things are tense at the Leningrad Conservatoire in 1939. Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District has been berated in the press, and such criticism can have fatal results. In class, the discussion on Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov focuses on the character of the holy fool - but who now will speak the truth in music about today's Russia? This superb study of musical expression under totalitarian rule follows the efforts of Shostakovich's pupil Benjamin Fleischmann to answer this question. He was to die in the siege of Leningrad, but not before writing a one act opera, Rothschild's Violin, about the struggle for existence in a rural Jewish community. Here was a work drawing on traditional folk melodies and daring to suggest that all was not rosy in the Russian state. The authorities were not amused. Splicing footage of smiling Joe Stalin and May Day parades into a persuasive dramatic reconstruction, Cozarinsky also delivers where current TV arts documentaries usually fall down: he lets us hear a full performance of the opera (Gennady Rozhdestvensky conducting the Rotterdam orchestra).