Recommendations for a few high SQ classical CDs

I have a modest collection of classical music CDs, most of it symphonic works, maybe 20-30 CDs at most. Most of my musical interest is with rock, roots rock and blues but I do enjoy classical music but have limited knowledge and experience.

I am also a new audiophile with my first hifi system for about a month now.

I would like some specific recommendations on just a few symphonies (for now). What I am looking for at this point is good CD recordings rather than the nature of the performance/conductor/orchestra. In other words, I'm looking for SQ first and performance quality second. I know that might sound backwards but I don't have enough knowledge to have a major preference between performances but I can hear SQ. Certainly a great recording of a great performance is ideal.

To keep things limited I am specifically interested in these works:

Beethoven's 9th
Mahler's 4th
Dvorak's 4th
Brahm's 4th

Certainly open to other symphonies by these composers. I have the works listed above and other symphonies by them as well.

Thanks for any recommendations,


I've got the Tidal 30 day trial but am not satisfied with the SQ just running it from my laptop via headphone jack/RCA y cable.

George, I have an interesting recommendation for you. Welsh Rock ’n’ Roll guitarist/singer/producer Dave Edmunds (well known as producer of The Stray Cats, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Everly Brothers and others, and member along with Nick Lowe of the great band Rockpile) was in a band before in 1970 starting his solo career, named Love Sculpture. Inspired by Keith Emerson’s reworkings of Classical compositions for ELP (Mussorgsky’s "Pictures At An Exhibition", of course), Dave and the two other Love Sculpture members recorded a Rock band version of Khachaturian’s "Sabre Dance". I am in general no fan of Rock versions of Classical music, "Sabre Dance" being the lone exception. Love Sculpture released two albums on British EMI.
It's much more than you asked for, but the Belohlavek set of Dvorak symphonies and concertos with the Czech Philharmonic on Decca is beautifully recorded and there are good prices on Amazon Marketplace:

There are also 24/96 downloads available.
bdp24, I think Dave Edmunds did some solo work too. I love "Pictures at an Exhibtion". I'll look into Sabre Dance.

Would also like a reference for a good CD of "Pictures at an Exhibition."
It seems like it always has stuff I don't want tacked onto the CD with it.
It may be a bit of nostalgia, but I’ve always been very fond of the old Leibowitz "Power of the Orchestra" on RCA, first on Lp and then in gorgeous sounding DSD.

(Oops, didn't see that it was a pre-order.  I guess the SACD is currently out of print.)