Is it possible to regularly listen to 18 different Mahler symphony cycles? 20 different sets of the complete Beethoven symphonies?
In theory, yes, in practice, no; I find myself reaching for the complete Mahler on EMI rather than the one on Deutsche Grammaphon, I prefer Bernstein’s first cycle to his second, I usually pick Bertini over Chailly. With Beethoven, it’s Karajan’s second over his third, Bernstein’s first (again) over his second, and Szell over Klemperer.
None of the ones I’m neglecting are bad, they are actually good and many are classic recordings in their own right. I pick up the boxes I do purely as a matter of personal taste, not critical opinion. And since I find I’m neglecting some recordings, it makes sense to de-accession.
You can see a preliminary list of what I’m selling at Discogs, and if there’s anything that catches your eye, you can purchase through there as well (you should make an account, and a Discogs account is a good thing to have if you are interested in recorded music). I’m currently cataloguing my library, 3,000+ recordings, so I’ll be adding to this list as I go along—I have several specialty recordings that no one has entered in Discogs yet, doing so means putting in every single track, so…—so check back again.