Beethoven Symphony No. 7

I'm looking for the best CD of this masterwork, any suggestions? If I can not have both, I prefer execellent performance to sound quality.
Thanks in advance.
For an excellent 7th and the absolute best 5th you must have Kleibers on DG. Both on the same disc.
Mengelberg and Concergebouw, or Furtwangler. Period.
The Kleiber 7th is a definitive performance, and in surprisingly good sound given the source. Highly recommended.
Furtwangler is surprisingly good. One of my professors in college wrote a book on him...misssed the opportunity to learn then, making up for it now.
Well I guess I will be the spoiler by saying the Kleiber 7th is worth gettting because you get the excellent 5th with it. It is good, but taken alone it would not be my first choice.

Not a well known 7th is the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Joseph Keilberth on Teldec 8.43192 (will have pretty good sound also); It is also now available on a budget 2 CD set (2 for 1) that includes the 5th and 6th and some Overtures. The 5th and 6th are acceptible, but the 7th is worth the price alone. It is just one of those rare accidents of history where conductor and orchestra were "in the zone". That budget set was released under the Elektra/Asylum Ultima label #18946

My favorite 7th is unfortunitely for you on LP. It is Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic on Deutche Grammophon; LP# is DG 2531 313. There are some Bernstein/Vienna Phil. recordings on CD, but I've never seen the CD to be sure if they are the same performance.

Sticking with Bernstein for just a moment; a live recording of his final concert on August 19, 1990, at Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony includes an amazing performance of the 7th. It certainly is not a "textbook" performance, but the second movement Presto is worth the price alone. I found out just a couple years ago that my parents were in the audience at Tanglewood for that concert. I wish they had asked me to go with them. I was only 150 miles away that day!! That CD is called "The Final Concert" on Deutche Grammophon.
harnoncourt and european chamber orchestra is excellent.
As mentioned above, Kleiber is worth getting for the excellent #5, but by itself, #7 isn't my top choice.

My favorites are (in no particular order):

Guido Cantelli/Philharmonia Orchestra/EMI 7243 5 68217 2 9

Klemperer/Philharmonia Orchestra/EMI 7243 5 667952 2 8

Furtwangler/VPO/EMI 0777 7 69803 2 4

Furtwangler/BPO/Music & Arts CD 4049(4) - part of 4cd set of wartime (WWII) recordings. very driven and intense performances, use with caution =)