I got this yesterday. The New York Philharmonic recording of 1962. I have been stung by it. I have heard at least twenty performances of this symphony and the only one to surpass Bernstein is Istvan Kertesz with the London Symphony also in the sixties. Since then, there have been umpteen performances but none worth the weight with the exception of Carlo Maria Giulini , Zubin Mehta, Herbert Von Karajan, Witold Rowicki and Rudolf Kempe. Prior to Bernstein and Kertesz, an electrifying rendition exists and it is by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC.
Just one point in why I find this performance so great. New York plays with great elan and Bernstein is the pioneer in recognising the first movement exposition repeat. No one before him acknowledged that.
The more I listen to Leonard Bernstein the more I realise that he has left his definitive stamp on quite a few recordings. This is one of them.