Decca issued this recording on CD in 1990 (Amazon asin # B00000E46U). I eagerly scouped up that CD, having lovingly listened to an LP of the recording for many years. I was severely disappointed with the CD. The engineering showed the flaws of many 1980s CDs : scratchy violins, twangy woodwinds, crackily horns. I scrapped the CD quickly and returned to the LP repeatedly to enjoy this masterful recording.
When this CD was issued in 1997, I was very hesitant to try it out, being fearful of another letdown after Decca's earlier miserable failure. After a few trusty reviewers gave this CD good ratings I took the risk, and was amply rewarded. Decca did a total flip flop, and with this CD they did one of their best analog-to-digital transfers ever.
I won't go into any details about the merits of Krips reading or the orchestra's performance. Many before me, both at Amazon.com and in publications, have thoroughly covered the artistic achievements represented here. Krips will never become a household word like Karajan, Furtwangler, Szell, Bohm, or the many others who are associted with noteworthy recordings of the symphony many consider Schubert's crowning glory. Good as they may be, none of them can hold a candle to this reading. Few works of the stature of this Schubert Great C Major Symphony are represented in the recording archives by a single item that stands out clearly above ALL others; but that can certainly be said of this recording (in this particular Decca reissue that is).
Decca quickly dropped this series of CDs, so I would not be surprised if it disappears from the catalog soon. So, get it while you can.
Composition : Masterpiece.
Performance : Masterpiece.
Engineering : Masterpiece.