Originally Posted by mbhaub
And we bought Mahler over and over for probably the same reasons: to get the best possible sound, which is how I found this site in the first place.
It's interesting that you say that. I, like you, am looking for the best possible sound. That's why I'm spending so much time and money on Chailly, MTT, Abbado, Gielen, Bertini, Boulez, and Zander. But that's not the majority view here. Just look at Dark Angel's favorites. Nearly all, if not all, of his favorites are older recordings with significantly worse sound than any of the recordings above. I would really like to get to that point where I can appreciate a performance and ignore sound quality entirely, but I just don't get it. Don't get me wrong, I used to play semi-professionally, and even sat in with a professional orchestra once (not the Chicago Symphony or anything). I also studied music, music history, and music theory for many years, so I understand perfectly well different styles of playing and different philosophies that composers offer. But for me, hearing the good new recordings is just so much more enjoyable than listening to Horenstein, or Walter, or Barbirolli, or anything else from 30 - 60 years ago.