I strongly recommend this recording in conjunction with Szell's famed recording with the Cleveland Orchestra. Both are fine picks. Maazel's interpretation here is quite remarkable. He effectively evokes a liveliness and lovely sense of nostalgia from the Vienna Philharmonic when the music calls for it. In terms of orchestral playing, Szell's interpretation is only slightly more remarkable. Both recordings possess an equally fine balance of sound.
The biggest selling point of Maazel's performance is Kathleen Battle. She is absolutely perfect for the "Wir geniessen die himmlischen Freuden" lieder finale. If you read the lyrics (and/or translation), the story tells about a young person describing what it's like in heaven... an unending feast with the saints cooking asparagus and slaughtering innocent little animals for the barbecue. Battle really gets into it. Her voice is clear as a bell, and she sounds like an imaginative and playful young child. One critic described Battle's delivery as a "mother knows best" interpretation. No way! If anything, Judith Raskin sounds more like Mom in the Szell recording - quite nice, but matronly.
Either performance is brilliant, but when it comes to the delivery of the final movement, I think Battle conveys the spirit of the music with a beauty that remains virtually unmatched.