Pick up this bargain-priced two-fer of Schumann's four symphonies, recorded at live performances in the early '90s and conducted by the late Hans Vonk, and you won't get period instrument textures (a la Gardiner or Goodman) or the textural "retouching" that once was so common (as in George Szell's cycle). You won't hear the music subjected to rethinking (a la Harnoncourt) or "Romantic" emphases (a la Bernstein or Barenboim). What you will hear is a direct, energetic approach that is traditional but also fresh, and which neither overstates nor understates the case. The recorded sound is a bit on the hard side, but this is a set to live with--as I have for the past four years. Vonk, whose conducting career was sadly cut short by illness that forced him to retire from the directorship of the St. Louis Symphony, was often identified with the music of Schumann, and this set is compelling evidence of why that was.