. . . [Beethoven Symphonies]: The orchestra has a signature sound that is passed on from player to player, from one generation to the next. The sonority of their string sound is nurtured and protected. The aura of their winds, particularly the oboe is specific to the VPO. The burnished brass is legendary. Also Bernstein had certainly matured considerably as a conductor and a musician regardless of where he conducted. The differences [to an earlier cycle] are unmistakable interpretively and most certainly in the quality and reality of the recorded sound. These evaluations apply equally to the four Brahms symphonies. The DG years documented Bernstein's finest music making both at home and abroad . . . the sound on every disc that I played is disarmingly real. I went straight to disc 58 to hear a recording of a longtime favourite that I knew so well, Liszt's "Faust Symphony", the one with the Boston Symphony. I don't recall the sound being so compelling and real. It made me very happy to be in Symphony Hall where it was recorded.