Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64.
The Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell, conductor
CBS Great Performances LP MY37767 (1982 reissue). Link to the late-1980s CD reissue sold at amazon.com
Szell presents a very crisp, incisive reading of Tchaikovsky's symphony which is surprisingly persuasive. The 1959 recording at Cleveland's Severance Hall has a fairly natural but slightly dry timbre.
To those who scrounge through thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets, the CBS Great Performances LP reissues from the 1980s are very commonplace and often of surprisingly high quality. CBS launched this mid-price reissue series in June 1981 using surprisingly high-quality re-mastering from original source tapes, frequently providing audibly superior dynamic range and lower distortion than the earlier Columbia Masterworks and Columbia Odyssey LP issues. Equally important, the CBS Great Performances LPs were pressed using very quiet vinyl formulations. Very frequently, I've found these reissues offer nearly-silent surfaces along with great dynamic contrast and instrumental timbre. The original source recordings often were heavily multi-miked and very bright - sometimes with exaggerated "hi-fi" reverberation associated with recording venues like New York City's Manhattan Center. However, these commonplace LP reissues tend to be as good as the hard-to-find Japanese or European CBS import pressings.
Best of all, the CBS Great Performances LPs tend to offer some of the "cream of the crop" recorded performances by CBS classical artists of the 1950s and 1960s. The actual recorded performances by Leonard Bernstein, Isaac Stern, Eugene Ormandy, and Rudolf Serkin often are incredibly powerful renditions of well-known repertory.