This very famous recording of the Tchaikovsky has quite a story behind it.
Szell was not known as the kindest or most forgiving of conductors. The stories of his demanding steeliness are legion but no-one would deny the results as demonstrated by the many recordings he made with the Cleveland.
In this case the symphony was recorded ( in excellent 1962 sound) and the producer, John Culshaw (of 'Ring' fame) instinctively realised that he had the makings of capturing an epically great performance on disc - but not quite. All that had to be done was to fire up the conductor to white heat. This was achieved by playing back the recorded last movement at an artificially low level. Szell was apoplectic and marched into the recording room to re-record the movement. This was done in one take and the rest is history as they say! Suffice it to say that this is probably the most exciting performance ever recorded.
The Beethoven part of this disc was recorded in 1969 and contains a very exciting account of the overture plus various incidental extracts. This is big band Beethoven and enjoyable on its own merit. I personally have always enjoyed the powerfully exciting but unauthentic overture considerably.
However, it is for the Tchaikovsky that collectors will want and treasure this disc. Worth every penny!