I wish this CD had been around when I got my first recording of the 'Choral' - a muddily-recorded budget LP no more than adequately played and sung. This inexpensive version does Beethoven proud. Follow it with the score - it is absolutely faithful in terms of dynamics, pacing, balance (inevitably Drahos does not follow Beethoven's metronome marks, except in the Scherzo, but neither does anyone else, and he comes closer than many). The orchestra is excellent, with I think a smallish body of strings, so that this is a lithe performance rather than a weighty one, but I don't think it suffers from that at all. Drahos is very good at managing the big climaxes, and indeed not playing his hand too early - the first movement recapitulation is shattering - and he is very well served by his players at every point in the score. The choir is good and the soloists excellent (interesting to read that the splendid tenor was a pop singer until he retrained at 23). Add to that a quite excellent modern recording and, really, there's very little to complain about here. Very warmly recommended.