If you are already familiar with atonal music, and are getting slightly bored with Bohm's, Dohnanyi's or Boulez' versions of this opera, this recording may be for you. The recording was live from Vienna, which means there is some audience noise, but nothing too distracting. The orchestra is therefore placed really forward, which sometimes obscures the singers, but on the other hand gives this version a sense of violence and madness, that I wasn't able to detect on other versions. Abbado conducts wonderfully. He is as always precise and clear, but this time he is really into the music and is very passionate about it. The singers are also very good. Grundheber is direct and moving, although he exaggerates somewhat in the murder scene. A completely differend approach to Fischer-Dieskau's (DG). Behrens is very moving and also sounds young and more vulnerable than many other Marie's. I was also impressed with Zednik's Hauptmann, although Haugland's doctor was rather prosaic. All in all, I find that this version truly captures Berg's piece and all its violence, compassion and final hope.