Great idea for a thread, Air!
I think we can take this thread to another level if we participate in the spirit shown in this post:
Elgarian- on Elgar
Tapkaara- on Sibelius
Artemis- on Schubert
Post Minimalist- on modern instrument Beethoven
Sorin- on period instrument Beethoven
haydnguy- on Haydn
Our Assistant Administrator- on Mendelssohn
apologies for all of the obvious omissions from this too brief list- but you get my drift--
So here follows my three-purchase recommendation for Wagner:
The best selling pure classical unit of all time!
At the time of this writing, this set is working its way out-of-print, and the price is going up.
Still, it's less than 4 dollars a disc, and it's STILL worth it.
Sir Georg's Chicago recording. Grammy-winner, Penguin Guide top-rated Meistersinger.