I bought this album for the live first movement of Beethoven's "Emperor" concerto. It was recorded and broadcast in 1930, and has survived in mint condition (probably only played once) until this transfer. This performance presents the interpretation of the best pupil of the best pupil (Liszt) of the best pupil (Czerny) of the composer. It is therefor possible that this performance comes closer than any other recording to the freely improvizational performance style of Beethoven himself. If it does, then much we accept as "authentic" is open to question. By 1930, d'Albert was decades out of practice, but he refuses to moderate his approach to allow for weakened technique. The result is a dramatic reading with virtually no marking time passages between climaxes. From the opening runs the music pulls us along with a power that reduces technical flaws to mere pebbles in the stream. All 20th century recordings of this music pale by comparison, the work of mortal talents against the force of a true giant. This is a kind of music making we will never hear again. It may be the work of an old man (d'Albert was in his 66th year when he cut these records), but it is the best document we have of the magnificent 19th century, and the most direct link we have to the composer. There are many other worthwhile tracks on this album, but it is this powerfully dramatic "Emperor" that justifies its purchase. Indeed, for lovers of Beethoven and/or the romantic century, it is required listening!