I have grown into Karajan's recorded performances over the years, having deemed them a bit too lush, smooth, and possibly even superficial at times. That was a misjudgment. Neither he nor the VPO got where they are today by being superficial.
This great work, rated by many as the greatest in the romantic classical repertoire, cannot be limited by just one interpretation; I have many, but this ranks among the best.
There is dynamism, thoughtfulness, occasional restraint, and even some humility in this performance, all of which are commendable: this is a lily which needs no gilding.
The orchestra plays with the cohesion and involvement of a string quartet: every entry is synchronous, every phrase is lovingly crafted, but the expressiveness appears to come from the music itself, from the hand of the composer, rather than the expertise of the players or the conductor.
Herein lies the "Wow" factor.