This is one of the best versions of the MAHLER 9th symphony. I have heard the HIGHLY praised live KARAJAN,the BERNSTEIN BERLIN VERSION, the BARBIROLLI B.P.O. version to name a few and this version is just as compelling as those. MAESTRO PESEK has the orchestra in a whirlwind of inspiration and the playing is of the highest calibre. I can't believe that the ROYAL LIVERPOOL orchestra is not recognized as one of the finest ensembles in EUROPE because they display a virtuosity that is amazing. The sound of the recording is fabulous to the point where you feel that the orchestra is in your living room. MAESTRO PESEK brings forth the tragedy,inner isolation, and breakdown that the first movement evokes. The lunatic circus atmosphere of the second movement is brought forth vividly with point and humour. The chaos and madness of the third movement is played with brilliance and ends with the tempo sped up to a frenzy only to break down in the midst of the fury. MAESTRO PESEK then pulls out all the stops in the final movement evoking the despair, emptiness, and the inevitable death that is waiting at the door of the victim of this magnificent score. The movement concludes with acceptance and finally peace. This is a great recording with a heartfelt dedication from the players and a precision that is impressive. I feel that this recording is more compelling than both BERNSTEIN AND KARAJANS VERSIONS because PESEK has a better sense of precision which is one of the key elements to conducting. LEONARD BERNSTEIN didn't have a clear downbeat like the great GEORGE SZELL and HERBERT VON KARAJAN conducted with his eyes closed. What is this? Most honest musicians will tell you that the eyes are just as important as the movement of the baton but i guess promotion can build anything into the end all and be all. Not withstanding my thoughts...buy this recording and be rewarded for such a low price.