I own numerous versions of what could be the greatest symphony ever written, and I believe this glorious recording with Dohnanyi and his Clevelanders is without question the most spectacularly well played. Mr. Dohnanyi has a fantastic ear for balances, which is extremely obvious throughout the symphony, and the orchestra responds in kind. The performance does not, however, sport the miraculously profound interpretation of Jascha Horenstein in his 1950's version with the Vienna Symphony. This is the only real drawback to the Cleveland recording, which is superior in every way, but which does not plumb the absolute depths of expression as Horenstein does. Had I not picked up the Horenstein recording on a whim I would have been blissfully ignorant of that fact upon listening to the Dohnanyi. This is not to say Dohnanyi is not a noble interpreter; he is one of the greatest and most underrated of recent times (listen to his mid-80's recording of Beethoven's 5th for an example how exciting and emotional a recording can be that is still extremely respectful of the score). He gave a Mahler 1 performance here in Dallas last May that was one of the greatest concerts I have ever been to. Nonetheless my first recomendation for Mahler's 9th for the interpretation is the Horenstein. But the Cleveland recording is by far the most well-played, as well having an excellent interpretation (listen to the glorious string playing in the last minutes of the piece).