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I haven't systematically collected his recordings. I value some quite highly, especially the Mozart concerti with Casadesus and Brahms with Fleisher. I have a few more (the Decca masters box and a few singles on Sony). Schumann and Haydn symphonies I'd value as good but not as great as many find them (I know little of his Beethoven besides the 5th and Egmont on Decca both of which are very good).
So overall I estimate Szell as a very good conductor but not a huge favorite.
 

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Well, Szell's Schubert's 9th (Epic lp and Sony cd) gives me the incisiveness and drive I prefer over all other interpretations I've heard.
It's not bad but it has one of the most jarring tempo relations between a (very slow) introduction and (rather fast) main section of the first movement which is a major downside for me. (The missing repeats in the scherzo could be an upside...;))
 

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The earliest Haydn included in that Sony box is #88. Unless there are some live/rare recordings around, Szell recorded 88, 92-99, 104. I don't think these recordings are as good as some claim but they are mostly pretty good and some of their reputation might be due to the fact that there was very little Haydn around ca. 1960 when they came out that was obviously superior. Beecham might have more charm but used horrible edition that are sometimes missing half of the woodwind parts. Scherchen was extremely uneven and so on.
It's been a while I heard the Szell recordings but I think I liked his 95 and 97 quite a bit.
 

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I hear Furtwangler as more mechanical than Szell, but that's just me.
I think this is a very uncommon use of the association of "mechanical". There can be hardly any doubt that e.g. Furtwangler is far more flexible in tempo and generally more unpredictable. You are of course free to dis/like either of them but to claim that "mechanical" would characterize a "wayward" conductor better than a rather rigid one, is not very plausible.
 
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