I think the Amazon reviewer is right to say that this live recording from Munich in 1991 has a sense of occaison about it. Barenboim reverts to his younger self playing concertos with the much older Klemperer and Barbirolli -- he's ardent, enthusiastic, and forward moving, with no fussy gestures in the Schumann. Celibidache's tempos are up to speed (did he make this radical change for his soloist?), and the Mnich Phil. plays well. The woodwind soloists in the first movement aren't top drawer, but that's offset by their touching, lyrical phrasing. The in-house broadcast sound is also good, but for all its naturalness, the piano is a bit far back for maximum clarity. The sturdy, emphatic way that Celibidache takes the finale reminds me in particular of Klemperer.
The Tchaikovsky is an oddball pairing -- I'd never want to hear them together in one concert -- nor is this music one associates with Barenboim. I don't hear the Russian-ness that the Amazon reviewer claims to, but Barenboim's style is panoramic and he certainly has all the flair the work calls for. Good musical instincts serve him well, since he's not prepared to fire off cannons a la Richter and Horowitz. It's a shame that Celi suddenly decides to put on the brakes for the middle movement; the expressive purpose is lost on me. You agonize over every note of the opening flute solo as it's squeezed out. The finale gets us almost back up to speed, and Barenboim relishes the chance to race around the course, more a trot than a gallop. I'm impressed that he could remain so involved in this old standby.
The Schumann is a pure delight, and so are the outer movements of the Tchaikovsky. As a non-fan of Celibidache, I msut say that I'm impressed.