Erich Leinsdorf's stint as music director of the Boston Symphony lasted from 1962 through 1969; these recordings were made at the very end of his tenure and they are glorious. The performance of the Ninth Symphony is lean, beautifully articulated and powerful, rather in the manner of Toscanini, Szell or Reiner. But unlike other, to my ears rather impersonal sounding Leinsdorf/BSO Beethoven symphony recordings, here the conductor seems thoroughly engaged with the music. And undoubtedly that is the result of the brilliant theatrical stroke of preceding the performance of Beethoven's paean to triumphant humanism with Schoenberg's shattering little cantata about the Holocaust. Leinsdorf insisted that this juxtaposition, one he had devised for his final public appearance as BSO Music Director at Tanglewood, should also appear on his recording of the Beethoven symphony. And it is positively chilling how the Schoenberg seems to fade into the opening string tremolos of Beethoven's so-familiar first movement. Once you experience Leinsdorf's performance of these two masterpieces you will never hear either the same way again. (I especially recommend the experience to those for whom the Ninth has become perhaps too familiar.) An amazing, unique experience. Sound quality is superb, completely living up to BMG's promotional hype about its 96/24 remastering process. Given BMG's recent pull-back from serious classical recording projects, listeners should rush out to buy this gem before it disappears, perhaps forever.