Maria - you have joined us in the twilight years of this group. While searching the archives may reveal varied and interesting discussions, arguments and controversies (with the Joyce Hatto affair really having no equal), there's not a lot of activity around here any more. Many of the recording collectors who used to be here have decamped to Symphonyshare, a moderated group devoted to sharing recordings. But many others have just left, gotten busy with work, or, sadly, died. I'm sure if you could compel a "role call" you'd a decent roster of contributors, but it certainly feels like group activity is a third of what it used to be. And unfortunately, the latest Google Groups interface is the worst yet. But the search engine works, and there is a lot of history under these still waters.
Hope you find something to interest you- ask a good question, and maybe the forest murmurs will come to life!
It's not much to offer, but on the question of Brahms vs. Wagner, around 18 months ago I saw Simone Young conduct the CSO in orchestral excerpts from Gotterdammerung, preceded by List's Prometheus and followed by (really, I think this was the problem) the Brahms/Schoenberg Piano Quartet. The Wagner was spine-tingling, while the Brahms, a piece I love, put me to sleep. Literally. (I use a CPAP now, so it's not all Johannes's fault). Anyway, Wagner won that night. Young was supposed to conduct Mahler 7 in Chicago this season, but that got cancelled. I certainly would have attended.
The Young concert I mention can be heard here: