The Cleveland Orchestra under Lorin Maazel made all too few recordings for Telarc, a Cleveland based company which offered sonics far superior to the orchestra's other label, CBS. The repertoire tended toward orchestral showpieces, doubtless intended to show off the then-new digital recording technology.
As usual with Maazel, the performances are technically spectacular, the interpretations wayward. Tempos in the Tchaikovsky are in the range or normality, but Maazel tampers with the orchestration. Percussion is added to the beginning of the finale.
I initially heard this recording of The Rite of Spring on an LP. The dynamics were not compressed and some of the louder passages literally bounced the needle out of the groove. Maazel doesn't tamper with the orchestration here, but his tempos are all over the map, with rubatos and ritardandos liberally applied (which is poles apart from Stravinsky's intentions). The thought of a ballet troupe having to dance to this interpretation boggles the mind. The beginning of the Glorification of the Chosen One is played at approximately HALF the tempo indicated in the score. This is certainly an exciting performance, but because of Maazel's eccentricities, I cannot recommend it as a reference version.
In the 1980s, it would have been hard to imagine these recordings sounding even more spectacular, but Telarc have outdone themselves. If you're looking to show off your sound system or the incredible playing of the Cleveland Orchestra, these recordings are a good fit.