The Beethoven Symphonies Numbers 1 & 8
Otto Klemperer, conductor
Price range: $24-192, mean $73 on popsike
Comments: Beethoven's first and eighth make for an interesting pairing on records, and after a cursory search on Google, I was only able to find two other examples of this pairing. One was with Josef Krips and the LSO, recorded for Everest Records, and the other was with Herbert von karajan and the BPO, recorded for film in the 1980s. I think that the pairing works well and is a nice juxtaposition of Beethoven's first and next to last foray into this composition form.
As I may have mentioned previously, Klemperer's Beethoven cycle is and will probably always be considered to be a reference recording of these works. Tempos, not surprisingly, are a little slower than one might be used to, but I didn't find this to be a problem and could still thoroughly enjoy the performances. One thing that becomes apparent is Klemperer's signature clarity of textures, especially with the woodwinds. In spite of my copy being a second pressing, the sound is very nice. Again, this recording is in early stereo with a slightly narrower sound stage but warm, realistic tube sound, good dynamic range with clarity throughout.