Not long before he took up the principal conductorship of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1988, Michael Tilson Thomas recorded all of Beethoven’s symphonies with another of the British capital’s leading ensembles, the English Chamber Orchestra, rounding off the cycle with a performance of the “Eroica” featuring New York’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s. A Gramophone reviewer wrote in 1985 that “Tilson Thomas’s ‘chamber versions’ … always throw new light on the strings/wind balance, giving us something closer to what Beethoven expected than we are used to … You can expect details to stand out which you had not noticed before”, while another, writing in 1987 on the sound of the Abbey Road Studio No. 1 recordings, found “plenty of weight and power … bright and immediate with a fine feeling of presence” and declared the Ninth “a splendid culmination to Tilson Thomas’s cycle”. The six albums of this first release in a single box also contain the conductor’s London recordings of Beethoven overtures, late choral works and the concert aria Ah! Perfido with soprano Eva Marton.