This page contains my personal recommendations with respect to the finest recorded performances of the symphonies of Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler. I have included, at the end, a short list of “essential” recordings of Ludwig van Beethoven’s more important symphonies. Recordings which I consider “white-hot”, or deserving of special notice, I have indicated with a Rossette (). You can scarcely go wrong with any recording listed here. But those identified by the Rossette offer, in my opinion, special insight into the piece, and never cease to amaze the patient listener. Multiple recordings of a single work represent a wide range of interpretive approaches, and are ordered chronologically. For those symphonies which have multiple recordings listed, it is thought that the effect of hearing all of them dramatically increases one’s appreciation of the work in question — without too great a feeling of redundancy.
Have fun, and happy listening!
Symphony No.4, “Romantic”
Symphony No.1, “Titan”
Symphony No.2, “Resurrection”
Symphony No.6, “Tragic”
Symphony No.8, “Symphony of a Thousand”
Das Lied von der Erde
Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op. 55, “Eroica”
Symphony No.4 in B flat, Op. 60
Symphony No.5 in C minor, Op. 67
Symphony No.6 in F, Op. 68, “Pastoral”
Symphony No.7 in A, Op. 92
Symphony No.9 in D minor, Op. 125, “Choral”