Here is what I found for Beethoven’s 9th recordings.

Berlin Philharmonic 60:10 125 musicians

Vienna Philharmonic 63:15 134 musicians

Cleveland Symphony 66:01 105 musicians

San Francisco Symphony 70:41 100 musicians

Chicago Symphony 74:52 100 musicians

Using this dataset, I calculated a least-squared linear regression and found that time = 102 minutes – 0.31 * musicians (with a mean-squared-error of only 8.64 minutes).

Therefore, a 60 member orchestra should perform Beethoven’s 9th in 83:24, give or take a few minutes.

caveat: the number of musicians is correct for each group at some recent time, not necessarily at the time of the recording in question.

I started this analysis as a joke, but the correlation seems stronger than mere chance. I submit the following theory. Prominent orchestras not only have more musicians, but more accomplished musicians and conductors, allowing them to maintain a brisker tempo through the presto sections. I intended to include the one data point from the problem statement, but it does not correlate well, so I left it out. I question the authenticity of your data! ðŸ˜Ž

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