THE WASHINGTON Post and Thomas Edison's phonograph were born on the same day: Dec. 6, 1877. A story on the front page of issue Number 1 of The Post that Thursday morning reported, "The Capitol was a dull place yesterday."

If, on that same day, a Post reporter had been keeping track of Thomas Edison in his laboratory in Menlo Park, N.J., he could have written a story saying that on that day Edison finished work on a new machine called the phonograph.

"Edison," the story would have read, "wrapped some tinfoil around a hollow cylinder on his newly completed thingamajig, turned its crank, and spoke into its mouthpiece: 'Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow, and everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!'" If the Post reporter was puzzled by the inventor's laughter, a comment Edison made a year later might have offered some explanation.

"I was never so taken aback in my life," Edison said. "I was always afraid of things that worked for the first time."

In the past century, hundreds of thousands of the world's greatest musicians have been given relative immortality through the medium of recordings. To mark the joint birthday of The Washington Post and the phonograph, I have gone out on a limb and compiled a list of 100 of the greatest of these.

Albeniz: Iberia, DeLarrocha, London 2235; Bach: Goldberg Variations, Landowska, Victor 1650; E Major Violin Sonata, Landowska-Menuhin, Victor LVT 1006; all the cantatas, especially No. 51, Schwarzkopf, Seraphim 60013.

Bartok: Music for percussion, Celesta, strings, Reiner, Chicago Symphony, Victor VICS 1620; Two Portraits, Stern, Ormandy, Philadelphia, Columbia 6277; String Quartets, the Juilliard, Columbia D3S 717; Bluebeard's Castle, Kertesz, London 1158.

Beethoven: Piano sonatas, Schnabel, Seraphim 6063-6; Piano concertos, Serkin, Ormandy, Bernstein, Philadelphia, N.Y. Philharmonic, Columbia D4S 740; Late quartets, Budapest, Columbia SL 174. Berg: Violin Concerto, Stern, Bernstein, N.Y Philharmonic, Columbia 6373. Berlioz: L'enfance du Christ, Munch, BSO, Victor VICS 6006.

Bloch: Schelomo, Feuermann, Stokowski, Philadelphia, Camden 254. Brahms: F Major Cello Sonata, Casals, Horszowski, on Columbia 30069; Violin Concerto, Heifetz, Reiner, Chicago, Victor 1903; B Flat Piano Concerto, Horowitz, Toscanini, Victor LCT 1025; Requiem, Klemperer, Angel 3624; Haydn Variations, Toscanini, N.Y. Philharmonic, Victor VM 355; Ernste Gesange, Kipnis, Moore, Seraphim 60076.

Britten: War Requiem, Britten, London 1255; Serenade for tenor, horn, strings, Britten, Pears, Tuckwell, London 26161. Chopin: It has all been done by Artur Rubinstein on Victor. Copland: Appalachian Spring, Copland, Columbia 37236. Debussy: Songs, Teyte, Cortot, ANGEL COLH; Piano music, Gieseking, Odyssey 32360021; Quartet, Budapest, Columbia 6015.

Delius: Paris, Beecham, Odyssey Y 33284. Dvorak: Cello Concerto, Casals, Szell, Czech Philharmonic, Victor LCT 1026. Elgar: Dream of Gerontius, Britten, London 1293. Faure: Songs, Souzay, Baldwin, EMI C069-11066. Franck: Violin sonata, Heifetz, Rubinstein, Seraphim 60230.

Gregorian chant: Solesmes monks, Gajard, London 26493. Grieg: Songs, Flagstad, London 32222. Handel: Julius Caesar, Sills, Treigle, Rudel, Victor 6182; Concerti grossi, Marriner, London 2309. Haydn: Harpsichord concerto, Landowska, Bigot, Seraphim 60116; symphonies by Beecham, Dorati, Reiner, Szell.

Hindemith: Herodiade, Zorina, Columbia 6571. Ives: Symphony No. 2, Bernstein, N.Y. Philharmonic, Columbia 6889; Holidays, Bernstein, Ormandy, N.Y. Philharmonic, Philadelphia, Columbia 7147. Lehar: The Merry Widow, Karajan, DGG 2707070, and Schwarzkopf, Angel 3630. Liszt: B Minor Sonata, Horowitz, Seraphim 60114.

Mahler: Symphony No. 2, Klemperer, Angel 3634; Symphony No. 8, Bernstein, London Symphony, Columbia M2S 751; Das Lied von der Erde, Forrester, Lewis, Reiner, Chicago Symphony, Victor VICS 1390. Mendelssohn: Piano concertos, Serkin, Ormandy, Philadelphia, Columbia 6128. Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time, TASHI, Victor ARLI-0363; The Ascension, Stokowski, LSO, London 21060.

Mozart: The Magic Flute, Beecham, Turnabout 4111/3; The Marriage of Figaro, Giulini, Angel 3608; C Minor Piano Concerto, Casadesus, Szell, Cleveland, Columbia 6695; Viola quintets, Budapest, Trampler, Columbia D3S 747; piano sonatas, Vol. 2, Kraus, Odyssey Y 33224; symphonies by Beecham, Reiner, Szell.

Monteverdi: Madrigals, Books 8, 9, 10, Leppard, Philips 6799006. Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov, London, Bolshoi, Columbia D4S 696. Nielsen: Symphony No. 3, Bernstein, Royal Danish, Columbia 6769.

Poulenc: Songs, Souzay, Baldwin, Victor 3018, Philips 900148; Organ concerto, Boston, Munch, Victor 2567; two-piano sonata, Gold and Fizdale, Columbia 6518. Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1, Szigeti, Beecham, in Columbia M6X 31513; Violin Concerto No. 2, Heifetz, Munch, Boston, Victor 4010.

Puccini: La Boheme, Beecham, Seraphim 6099; Tosca, Callas, DeSabata, Angel 3508. Purcell: Dido and Aeneas, Flagstad, Schwarzkopf, Victor LM 2019. Rachmaninov: The Piano Concertos, Rachmaninov, Stokowski, Ormandy, Philadelphia, Victor 6123; Songs, Gedda, Weissenberg, Angel 36917.

Ravel: Sheherezade, Tourel, Bernstein, Columbia 6438; Quartet, Budapest, Columbia 6015. Respighi: The Pines and Fountains of Rome, Reiner, Chicago, Victor 2436. Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3, Ormandy, Biggs, Philadelphia, Columbia 6469.Scarlatti: Sonatas, Kirkpatrick, Odyssey 32260007 and 32260012E.

Schoenberg: Gurre Lieder, Stokowski, Victor AVM2-2017. Schubert: Die Winterreise, Pears, Britten, London 1261; Die schoene Muellerin, Souzay, Baldwin, Philips 900074; C Major Quintet, Budapest, B. Heifetz, Columbia 4437, OR 6536; Trout Quintet, R. Serkin, friends, Columbia 7067; symphonies, Beecham, Casals, Reiner, Szell.

Wm. Schuman: Symphony No. 3, Bernstein, N.Y. Philharmonic, Columbia 7442. Schumann: Manfred, Beecham, Columbia M2L 245. Shostakovich: Symphony No. 1, Ormandy, Columbia 1624; Symphony No. 14, Rostropovich, Columbia/Melodiya 34507. Sibelius: Symphony No. 7, Beecham, Angel 35458. R. Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Koussevitzy, Boston, Victor VM 257; Rosenkavalier, complete, Karajan, Angel 3563; excerpts with Lehmann, Schumann, Olsczewska, Seraphim; Heldenleben, Beecham, Seraphim 60041; Four Last Songs, Schwarzkopf, Szell, Angel 36347.

Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps, Bernstein, London Symphony, Columbia 31520; Symphony of Psalms, Shaw Chorale, Victor 2822. Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto, Horowitz, Toscanini, Victor VIC 1554; Symphony No. 6, Berlin Philharmonic, Furtwangler, Seraphim 60231. Vaughan Williams: symphonies and all other works under Boult, Angel.

Verdi: Requiem, Giulini, Angel 3649; Falstaff, Karajan, Angel 3552. Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, Sayao, Odyssey 32160377. Wagner: The Ring, Solti, London RING S; Die Walkuere, Act I, Lehmann, Melchior, List, Walter, VPO, Seraphim 60190. Wolf: Italienisches Liederbuch, Schwarzkopf, Fischer-Dieskau, Moore, Angel 3703.