With this CD, Sir Charles gives us, the listeners, a fresh new take on these two masterpieces. It features all of Mackerras' usual trademarks: an unbelievable tightness and clarity of sound as well as a rich yet controlled emotionalism--an earlier reviewer said that the finale of the "Great" symphony will "explode out of your speakers" or something to that effect, and that reviewer is right. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra is up to the task, responding with a nimble quickness that is paradoxically light and powerful at the same time; the players produce a rich, dark sound while at the same time staying together and keeping everything up-tempo. Part of this is the prominent role given to the brass, which sound more "natural" (i.e., period instrument type) than on other recordings; however, here as in many other Telarc recordings, the balance between instrument families is as close to perfect as it could possibly be. Overall, Mackerras and the SCO give these two recordings a grandiose, bravura feeling that's very rarely found anywhere else. I have only two minor complaints. One is that Mackerras tends to rush through the endings of movements, keeping the drama of the music from reaching its absolute, fullest potential (though it comes darn close). Also, stylistically the music doesn't feel as Viennese as on other Schubert recordings I've heard, and perhaps more than any other composer, Schubert needs to feel Viennese. In particular, the first movement of the Unfinished Symphony as it's recorded here doesn't seem to be a lamentation as much as an outburst. The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, strangely enough, did a better job ensuring that these symphonies were stylistically correct. However, if Mackerras occasionally sacrifices style for raw power, that's a small, small quibble with a CD that's otherwise so technically precise and passionate with such wonderful sound quality. In short, while this CD may not provide the "classic" or "definitive" interpretation of these two symphonies, it gives us a new take on said symphonies that's excellently done from start to finish, and definitely worth a place in any music lover's library.