As director Dieter Ertal makes clear in his brief introduction to this memorable interpretation of Smetana's Moldau, the Hungarian-born Austrian conductor Ferenc Fricsay was already a very sick man at the time this recording was made.
He was to die just three years later in 1963. Fricsay's extreme precision - a combination of rhythmic pulse and emotional restraint - serves him particularly well here.
Moreover, his rehearsal of the separate sections of the orchestra on their own, reveals several hidden 'chamber music-like' highlights of Smetana's score.
The end result is one of the most exciting performances ever of this famous work.