Interesting range of opinions on this one. Some reviewers are left untouched and, frankly, bored. Others wax lyrical.
The truth, as ever, I suspect is somewhere in between. Having listened to it several times now, I believe it is a wonderful addition to the range of recordings currently available. It's beauty comes from its breadth and willingness to take time. It is one of the few performances where I can recognise the Mahler of the 9th in every single movement and I think it is this that represents Harding's major achievement.
Let's face it, the work is a shell with too many parts missing for it ever to stand up to close scrutiny. But what a devastatingly, achingly beautiful shell it is and one that we should thank Cooke et al for providing. Harding has breathed new life into that shell and made parts of it shimmer in ways that other conductors have failed to do.
So forget all of the naysayers and add it to your collection - you'll be glad you did.