I got to know Shostakovich's 15th from the LP of this performance, the work's first recording (in the West, anyhow). It has come up well in RCA's stunning remastering, and is still the best performance overall that I know. Ormandy paces the enigmatic piece moderately, never over-emphasizing any of the contrasting moods (as Jansons does in his more- too?- full-blooded approach, with the LPO on EMI), or rushing it to try and whip up excitement (as Neeme Jarvi does on DG with the Gothenberg Orchestra). Haitink's old Decca version is very good (as are all his Shotakovich symphonies- you could do worse than buy the box set), but Ormandy had the better band, and the added focus born of premiering the work.
Couplings help decide the issue: Jarvi has been reissued in a 2-cd set with his Shostakovich 13th & 14th Symphonies: good value if you don't have any of them, and fine singing from Sergei Leiferkus in 14, but still a rush in 15. Jansons is coupled with the Second Piano Concerto, beautifully played by Mikhail Rudy, but it's a better idea to get both concertos on one disc: I'd recommend Bronfman or Hamelin. The RCA disc couples Ormandy's reading with a justly famous, magisterial performance of the Second Piano Sonata by Emil Gilels: game and match. I heartily agree with the reviewer ryzzard that Ormandy's 14th should be reissued: another first recording, featuring the great Phyllis Curtin. The way things are going with BMG, though, I'd say don't hold your breath.
In '97 DG released a recording of a transcription of the 15th Symphony for violin, cello, piano, celeste and percussion, played by Gidon Kremer's group Kremerata Musica. It doesn't quite work as a cogent piece of music, since Shostakovich always thought orchestrally, but it's very interesting to hear the bones of the piece's structure laid bare. I don't know if this CD is still available.
Meanwhile, 5 stars for Ormandy, and for Gilels. The symphony is a haunting masterpiece.