I couldn't agree more with Mr. Steiger's positive review of this set, and I share his opinion of the 6th. At last a first movement that doesn't sound like Beethoven is rushing through the countryside on the autobahn; at last a slow movement that sounds like Beethoven is really relaxing by the brook, not just impatiently waiting for the tour bus to arrive! The single positive quality that impresses me most about this set is its sane tempi, uninfluenced by trendy notions about following the composer's obviously flawed metronome markings. I've had quite enough of sets like that, resulting in performances that are rushed to the point of trivializing the music-I include Gardiner, Abaddo (Berlin) and Zinman among others. This is NOT to say that Skrowaczewski's tempi are predominantly slow-he merely allows each movement to project its own character. If that calls for a more moderate tempo than is currently fashionable, he does so--if not, he does so--this demonstrates brave independence of spirit. Skrowaczewski remarks on this very thing in the booklet, quoting Weber's remark, "Never mind about marks on paper-use your brain"-I couldn't agree more. The Fifth and Seventh bristle with energy, as does the Ninth, when called for, but the slow movement has all the expansiveness one could wish, without dragging. The orchestra plays wonderfully, In the scherzo of No.3, the horns positively bloom in the trio-often a moment of embarassment. The playing is full of delicious touches like this. As for the text, I don't have access to a copy of the new Barenreiter editions, so I couldn't say whether or not Skrowaczewski uses it-does anyone know?--input, please! Perhaps these remarks seem a bit "scattershot", but it's difficult not to enthuse over this set. Bravo, maestro, I hope you chance to read this-I'm one of your biggest fans!