Admirers of Franz Schubert and fans of authentic period performances should seriously consider listening to Marc Minkowski's live set of the complete symphonies with Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble, if only for the life enhancing experience. Sure, there's probably no one better at re-creating the real sounds of an early 19th century orchestra, and there are undoubtedly few conductors who can present these masterpieces with greater clarity and vitality. But these characteristics are expected of the best period ensembles, and Minkowski and his musicians have met such expectations time and time again. Beyond this, there is a special intelligence and emotional depth that not only explicate Schubert's counterpoint and communicate his emotional expressions, but make the music a fully organic and satisfying experience. Following the orchestra can be overwhelming because the separation of the parts is so clear and distinctive, myriad details in the counterpoint come across almost at once, and the brilliance and complexity of Schubert's mind is immediately apparent. This is why listeners need to hear the whole set in its entirety, from the Classical early symphonies, through the utterly perfect Fifth, to the towering achievements of the "Unfinished" and the "Great C major." But take ample time to absorb it, if only to savor every wonderful aspect of the performances. This is beyond doubt one of the definitive Schubert cycles, and it is absolutely recommended for anyone who loves this composer's music.