I haven't heard a recording this amateurish since Gilbert Kaplan's go at the Mahler 2nd Symphony. Thielemann can barely hold his orchestra together in the symphony, and there are passages where I wonder if everyone is on the same page, let alone the same beat. There's also a nasty, awkward edit in the finale, close to the coda, that makes the music lurch. The musicians, thought they struggle bravely (the only reason for the two stars) often play tentatively, and never play "out" with full intensity, and sound limp. And who can blame them for being tentative: with Thielemann's imprecise tempo lurches at every other bar, they're very afraid to stab a chord, for fear they won't come in together. Balances are absent. The Manfred is just as flaccid and muddy. No drama or tension, no build, no overall sense of structure from beginning to end, which is what you got when someone like Furtwangler conducted Schumann, even though he too engaged in considerable tempi shifts.
The Konzertstuck I was reluctant to critique, as I do not know the work very well and haven't listened to any version in a long time. I got input from a French-horn-playing friend of mine, though. Without knowing my own feelings about this disc, she volunteered that Thielemann changed tempos arbitrarily, sounds like he's confusing the players, and doesn't seem to "get" the music. So a professional hornist's reaction to the CD is just about the same as mine, and she's played this work many times in concert.
As for the silly arguments below (do people really think or just repeat old wisdoms over and over, long after they cease to be true?) that this is "exciting" instead of dull, dutiful Schumann, please, listen to Bernstein, Karajan, Furtwangler, Kubelik for some examples of truly exciting Schumann. Compared to those conductors, this recording will put you to sleep. Particularly recommended are Karajan in the 1st, Marriner in the 2nd (that's right), Karajan in the 3rd and Furtwangler in the 4th. That's some great Schumann. This is an embarrassment.
If Thielemann keeps offering up recordings like these, he will have landed on the conducting scene with a dull thud.