Barenboim’s pacing of the great first movement struck me as unusually fleet and fluent. I don’t mean that he rushes the music but he certainly makes it flow. And the sense of fluency is accentuated by the lightness of texture that he achieves for much of the time. Yes, the big climaxes are powerful but the prime impression I received was of delicacy and finesse, an impression heightened by the very fine playing of the Staatskapelle Berlin.
Barenboim is very expressive in the Adagio but never once does he overplay his hand; this is a clear-eyed reading.