Even though these recordings are over 50 years old, they are still among the very best available. The Fifth is in mono, and there is some slight distortion in places, but the sound is very immediate and reveals all the details of Klemperer's mighty interpretation. It holds your attention from the very first notes of this most concentrated of Beethoven's symphonic movements right through to the exultant ending.
It is the Seventh which is the real star of this disc, however. One of EMI's earliest stereo recordings, it is beautifully clear and revealing. There is a very slight background hiss, but it is not noticeable unless you turn up the volume to silly levels and certainly does not detract. The orchestra plays wonderfully, and Dr K's interpretation is truly inspired in every movement, doing full justice to this optimistic and life-enhancing music.
Both these performances are better than Klemperer's later recordings made in the Sixties, the Fifth marginally so, the Seventh incomparably so. Comparison will inevitably be made with the similarly-coupled performances by Carlos Kleiber; well in my humble opinion, Klemperer wins!