This inexpensive recording doesn't boast high wattage stars. Maybe that's why the story really comes across. I love "Carmen". It was my introduction to opera 40 years ago. I have the Bumbry, Price, Crespin, De Los Angeles, Horne, Stevens, Troyanos, Berganza in my collection, and I know the Callas, Resnik, and Migenes. I love certain things about all of them. But this recording featuring Uria-Monzon is the one I come back to when I want to hear the opera complete as a performance. It is well balanced, in very good sound, and it has a satisfying performance flow with a committed ensemble cast. It manages to integrate both the intimate scenes with the theatrically grand scenes most naturally. You're hardly aware that there's a conductor on the podium, so naturally does the music directly engage the listener. This recording is now my recommended 1st choice of a "Carmen". But be warned, it you like your "Carmen"s Grand Opera-ish, you might not like this as much as I do.