These aren't the most compelling versions I've heard of these two symphonies, but they're still extremely well performed. Dohnanyi and the Cleveland Orchestra punctuate both works with crisp, precise attacks; these symphonies sound like concise musical paragraphs, rather than the long run-on sentences they can otherwise be. The orchestral sound is a little less polished than in the rest of Dohnanyi's Beethoven symphony cycle; it sounds more rough and unhinged, as though the instruments are trying to burst out of the speakers. I personally like that effect; it brings to life two symphonies that are usually played more like "Well, here's what Beethoven was doing before Eroica." Granted, these interpretations aren't perfect: the orchestral sound is a little confined as compared to Telarc's usual cavernous standard. As well, be advised that Dohnanyi's penchant for speed is in full effect here, although I think it works well given the energetic nature of these two works: the First Symphony comes off with boisterous flair, while the Second sounds like it's soaring through the heavens. These aren't the definitive renditions of these two works, but they're definitely masterful and energetic and thoroughly enjoyable. I would give this CD four stars, but here are five instead to counteract my ridiculous other review.