My God, was this recording magnificent!
When I first picked this CD up I was skeptical, I've never heard of somebody named Gunter Wand, nor the NDR Symphonyorchestra and ....the price seemed a tad high. However, the red RCA tag assured me that it won't be too bad of a recording, so I bought it nevertheless.
Eager to hear how Mr. Wand sounds, I immediately placed the CD in my portable CD player when I got out of the store (I didn't buy it from Amazon.com :( ), and it moved me right from the start! The tempo of the 1st movement seemed just Perfect (Karajan's was a tad slow) and the sound was brilliant (it was recorded in 2001). I kept listening, and noticed how truly graceful some passages were performed by the NDR. It truly brought out the best of Symphony No.1 and 2 of Beethoven: the Mozartian grace, the hint of Romanticism and sheer energy in them.
To be honest, back in the "Karajan Days" I would usually get bored with the 2nd movement of the 1st symphony and 2nd symphony. But not with Mr. Wand and the NDR! Oh no, it was moving and filled with emotions, very powerful.
Greatest Recommandations for anyone who loves music.