BERLIOZ:  Requiem, Op. 5.  MAHLER:  Symphony No. 1.
Utah Symphony Orch. & Chorus; Charles Bressler, tenor; Maurice Abravanel, cond.
VANGUARD VSD 507/8  (4 channel) TT: 61:31 & 72:08
The Berlioz,  scored for large chorus and orchestra, is extraordinary in multi-channel which lets us hear hear brass coming from four corners as written in the score.  This is an original 4 channel analog recording made in 1969.  It is all very special sonically, although performances of both the Berlioz and Mahler's symphony don't register among the finer recordings of each.  The Mahler, also a 4 channel channel original,  dates from 1974.  You'll probably listen most to Tuba Mirum from Requiem, with its large chorus and brass outbursts from four sides.  The Berlioz is music made for surround sound; this is its only multi-channel issue to date (Jan. 2003).

MAHLER:  Symphony No. 6 in A Minor "Tragic"
San Francisco Symphony Orch; Michael Tilson Thomas, cond.
SFS 821936-0001/2 (5 channel)  TT: 87:30

There's high emotion in this live performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 6, recorded Sept. 12-15, 2001.  It's the first in a five-year project to record all Mahler symphonies. Thomas' interpretation is rather low in tension compared with Solti or Bernstein, but consistently impressive, and recorded in 5 channel sound with rich concert hall ambience - and not a trace of an audience. Two CDs are required, but they sell for the price of one. This promises to be a memorable series.