The very first recording of a symphony ever made by a professional orchestra was with Arthur Nikisch (1855-1922) conducting Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Wind up your gramophone and listen below:
Still sounds powerful. A fine historical review is here at Dilettante - It's great, I can't add much more frankly.
And here is a book entry from Arthur Bloomfield's More Than The Notes on Arthur Nikitch himself. Pretty hardcore. And apparently quite a hit with the ladies....
|New York Times, April 30, 1912, Tuesday|