The coughing is just too much.
The music is great, however. I'm told that there are better recordings, but really the coughing is the only thing that bothers me about this one.
If you own a couple versions of the 5th symphony, this is a fine addition. If this is going to be your first, or only, version, then you need to consider something else.
Which one? Well, I've consulted the experts.
Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 4, 5 & 6 and Tchaikovsky: Symphonies no 4, 5, & 6 / Karajan, Berlin PO are two sets of Tchaikovsky's most famous symphonies, including the 5th, that come highly recommended. Evidently the first set, by Pappano, is slightly preferred, but the Karajan set is considered excellent as well.
Tchaikovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4, 5, 6 "Pathetique" is another. Though a little older, it is evidently widely considered the definitive performance/recording of Tchaikovsky's symphonies.
If you're only looking for the fifth, Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 comes recommended to me.
I will be getting and reviewing these, and I anticipate liking each of them better than this one. Whatever you choose, I recommended something other than this one.
Will you forgive a digression? This album includes Janacek's "Sinfonia." Now another reviewer took time out of his day to dis Janacek, but I really like Janacek, and I suspect that he's one of the really underappreciated composers of his time. Dvorak: Serenade for Wind includes Mladi, a woodwind work that is a nice introduction to Janacek at a budget price (and there's also something by Enescu, considered Romania's greatest composer and someone else whose music I really like). For a little more, Leos Janácek: Glagolitic Mass (Original Version) / Zoltan Kodály: Psalmus Hungaricus, Op. 13 - Sir Charles Mackerras / The Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir is even better. If you just want to shell out the dough, I am very satisfied with Janácek: Chamber Music & Orchestral Works, where you can find another version of the Sinfonia.