|Some people on various forums have said that the redbook on SACD recording is (some say intentionally) not as good as the same redbook recording on a disc by itself.
I have heard this said also, but in my opinion it is not true. I have both the CD and SACD/hybrid versions of Telarc's Mahler's 5th Symphony (Zander) and, to my ears at least, the redbook versions of both sound identical.
Regarding your request for recent Telarc recommendations, I can vouch for everything I've heard that Telarc has recorded in DSD. They've been doing this exclusively now for several years. To my ears, DSD-recorded material sounds better than typical redbook recordings. Of course, the SACD layers sound even BETTER--the nuances of the music come through so much better. Once you've heard SACD, there's no going back to redbook sound.
Having said that, here's a list of some of my SACD favorites, whose redbook sound should be just as good in the CD-only versions:
Mahler Symphony No.5 (Zander/Philharmonia, 2001)--This disc is worth it just for the extra disc on which Zander explains the history behind this work and its themes.
Oscar Peterson Trio: Very Tall Band (1999)--I LOVE Oscar Peterson
Music of Turina and Debussy (J. Lopez-Cobos/Cin. S. O., 2001)
Dave Brubeck: 40th Anniversary Tour (1999): Dave is still great!
Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique (P. Jarvi/Cin. S. O., 2001)
Dukas: The Sorcerer's Aprentice/Symph. in C/La Peri (J.Lopez-Cobos, Cin.S.O., 2000)
Also, it turns out that some of Telarc's earliest recordings are actually some of their best. These were originally recorded using a Soundstream digital recorder, using a slightly higher sampling rate than the rate redbook eventually dictated. The original recordings were resampled to the lower rate; Telarc has gone back to the master tapes and recorded them, using DSD, to their original sample rate. The results are surprisingly good on SACD, and I have no doubt that the redbook layer of these hybrid discs would better the original release.
A couple of these rereleases which I have and love are:
The Firebird (Robert Shaw, Atlanta S. O. , 2000)
Shostakovich Symphony No.5/Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet (L. Maazel, Cleveland O. , 2001)