DA I thought you would enjoy my slight waivering from the almighty. As I listen to it today, I like it much better, but still think there is some room. I will check into the Bernstein recording definitely. And I might look into the Bernstein set seeing that I have all the symphonies now, except 8 which I have on vinyl.
But before my faith is questioned too much, this is a stunning live performance, the Szell recording. The winds blend and play with flawless intonation, which in this piece is very difficult! I am trying to put my finger on what is not putting this recording over the edge for me. I think I would like it a little less constrained, a little less safe. The tempos seem to be a little restrained at some of the wild moments. The slow movement is very beautiful, but I think the material here can absolutely transport you and I don't really get that, although I find it moving (actually I think Szell takes it a little too fast so it is moving in the literal sense too
It sounds like what I am looking for is what Bernstein is known for. For the discount price as DA noted, this Szell recording is a steal and should be purchased. I think for somebody who wasn't putting such incredibly high expectations on a recording as I was, they would love this recording. I was anticipating total audio nirvana since this is one of my favorite pieces done by my main man.