New, that should be good; the Beethoven 9th is a milestone in the development of the symphony and The Planets is about as sure-fire a piece(along with the others I mentioned)as you'll find. One point is to not pick out a recording of a composition at random; versions of the same piece differ greatly in interpretation and sound. For example, there're over 200 recordings of the Beethoven 9th, but one I'll bring to your attention is this one
. If you'd like to order from Tower, I'd suggest that you add the Swan Lake recording to the Beethoven 9th and The Planets to get over the $20 for free shipping.
As far as the mode to use, definitely not 5-channel surround, which is primarily for parties, etc. where more nearly uniform sound is wanted throughout the room, although it's not a realistic effect. When an HT receiver and speakers have been bought, they should be used to direct the ambience contained in 2-channel material to the surrounds where it belongs. No 2-channel mode(e.g. stereo, direct, pure, whatever)should be used. Modes such as DPLII, Neo:6 and Logic 7 should be preferred. My own preference is DPLII, especially with the use of the center width and dimension parameter adjustments.