I was just on Amazon comparing samples of the symphonies, and discovered several things:
1. Much as I love Barbirolli's EMI set, I must fish out a couple of others and listen to them again: Tate, Solti (try to make the sound less brilliant), maybe even Mackerras.
2. The sets of Previn and Haitink appear to warrant serious investigation. OTOH, those of Colin Davis and Mark Elder don't.
3. There is a recording of 1
(MP3 only) by Andrew Davis with the Philharmonia on Decca. By timings, this APPEARS to be the same as recently issued with 2
on Signum (I can't get the Signum samples to play). Either way, it seems to be superior to his Teldec/Warner Apex recording (albeit live).
4. I was consistently and pleasantly surprised by samples of the new cycle conducted by Botstein - orchestra perhaps not first rate, but sensitive and committed. Sadly this appears to be download only. Has anyone heard it? (1