For anyone interested in a good start to the Mahler symphonies, here are some of my favourites. I'm quite a Mahler fanatic, so it's not easy to whittle it down to this, but here goes..
1st - Kubelik/Bavarian RSO or Bernstein/Concertgebouw
2nd - Kaplan/LSO or Klemperer/Bavarian RSO or Bernstein NYPO (newer DG)
3rd - Chailly/Concertgebouw or Tilson Thomas/LSO (great recording, hard to get hold of now) or Bernstien/NYPO (older CBS) or Czech Philharmonic/Neumann
4th - Horenstein/LPO or Cleveland/Szell
5th - Solti/Chicago SO (older Decca) or Chailly/Concertgebouw or Barbirolli/Philharmonia
6th - Bernstien/VPO (newer DG) or Levine/LSO or Sanderling/St. Petersburg PO or Chailly/Concertgebouw
7th - Abbado/Chicago SO or Boulez/Cleveland O or Tilson Thomas/LSO
8th - Wyn Morris/Symphonica of London (hard to get hold of but amazing) or Solti/Chicago SO or Boulez/Berlin Staatskapelle
9th - Karajan/BPO (later, live version on DG) or Columbia/Walter or Bernstein/BPO (the only performance they ever did together, slightly scrappy playing at times, but white hot intensity)
10th - Rattle/Bournemouth SO or Rattle/BPO or Chailly/Berlin Radio SO
There are many more great performances, but I can't imagine anyone not enjoying the ones above. Every single one of those performances have something amazing about them, IMO. They all have great recorded sound too, which I think is very important when listening to such complex and massive works.
Hope that helps someone!
Edited by amigomatt - 11/2/13 at 6:28pm