I have just recently started listening to a lot of Beethoven again, and I must say that this rendition of the Ninth Symphony hits me like a hammer (in a /good/ way) every time I listen to it. I finally understand in a very visceral way why this piece stands so high in the estimation of so many. I am probably being a hopeless Romantic here, but the range of emotion in this piece is so astonishingly broad: from the chill-inducing rage and power of the first movement, through the haunting resignation and sorrow of the Adagio (if you need any evidence that this was written by a man who was dying and knew it, listen!) and the ultimate joy and acceptance of the famous Finale ... it ALL seems to be here, in a way that perhaps only Shakespeare at his greatest reach could match. This is also a fine record to listen to if you want to know what a conductor does, or can do. Wand was a complete perfectionist, and yet declared himself so satisfied with this rendition of the Ninth that he didn't want to do another. And you'll hear it all in this recording, especially in the Adagio. This music is so exquisitely shaped, you'll want to expire, to fall right into its arms and cry. I do each time I hear it. Sorry if that's over the top - this is a great recording and I love it. Music to stay alive by.