The English record producer who discovered Karajan after WW II, Walter Legge, got into Vienna by chance, thanks to an American army officer he met in a bar. The officer gave him a pass into the occupied city, and Legge found Karajan sharing a small aprtment with four other people, all living on bare subsistence. Within a few days Legge had signed up Karajan on the strength of his pre-war reputation. These recordings of Mozart and Schubert from 1946 were among the first signs of Vienna's revival.
On that acocunt they are inspiring performances, despite the ragged, boxy sound. Everything is listenable, however, and what we hear is actually Karajan's most unaffected performances of both the Mozart Sym. 33 and the Schubert Ninth. He felt an affinity for the Ninth in particular, and one almost hears him throwing down the gauntlet to Furtwangler. Furtwangler's famous Ninths from the early Fifties, both live and in the studio, are romantically expressive, big-boned, and important. By comparison, Karajan keeps a steady tempo, inflects phrases lightly, and asks for cleaner, more precise ensemble than Frutwangler generally cared about.
The orchestra must still have been shellshocked, but they play very well under the circumstances.The result is "modern" Schubert, a style that would sweep the musical world as Furtwangler's star faded (not to shine again until the Seventies), while Karajan's star shot to the top. Karajan has been seen as an interloper, but German musicmaking was ready to change, and the joy of these performances shows how healthy that change would be.