Szell is not one of your Strauss conductors who seeks to wallow in the overt sensuousness of his orchestral textures, as Karajan tends to do, or mellow the music out (as if they were composed after Der Rosenkavalier, not before). After all, the major Strauss tone poems were products of his young manhood, and Szell's approach is rather to emphasize the dramatic vitality of these scores and also, to make the often complex lines stand out clearly. More specifically, I find his Don Juan to be the most exciting performance I have yet heard, even more so than Reiner's 1954 recording, for it has more cumulative power, and moreover, is in much better sound (sonically, the '54 Reiner is a lot muddier sounding than his contemporaneous recordings of Ein Heldenleben and Also sprach Zarathustra, both of which have excellent sound). As for Quixote, this performance is swifter, tauter and more sharply etched than either Reiner-Chicago or Karajan's performance on EMI with Rostropovich. It is a pity that Kempe's classic Berlin account with Tortelier is no longer available because that performance combines drama and vividness of textures with a warmth and humanity that somewhat eludes Szell. Finally, the very youthful horn concerto is played immaculately. Highly recommended!