This is the best Rosenkavalier of all. Sena Jurinac is a magnificent Octavian - a wonderful voice, and subtle and noble, as well as characterful, acting. Otto Edelman is a great Ochs - terrific vocally, and with a certain amount of charm is able to seem some kind of aristocrat, despite being such a boor. Anneliese Rothenberger is a beautiful Sophie - in voice and acting, and she looks the part too. Erich Kunz is a splendid Faninal - wonderful fussy movements combined with a really beautiful voice. And, for all that people say about her, Schwarzkopf is really just the best Marschallin. It's altogether wrong to think of her as cold: there are layers and layers of characterization here, and each layer is deeply felt. What is mistaken for coldness is instead an acted restraint, which is in itself an expression of depth of feeling. It makes a difference to be able to see her act, of course - a lot goes on in very slight gestures and facial movements. And she is so strong vocally: absolutely never under strain. The whole thing is capped by terrific playing by Karajan and the Vienna Phil, who know how to do Viennese in a way that nobody else can. My immediate comparisons are the two Carlos Kleiber DVDs - the cast is better vocally than on either of those, and the acting is better too, I think - and the old Erich Kleiber and Karajan audio recordings. I think this film is better than the Karajan audio because Sena Jurinac is better than Christa Ludwig, and the Vienna Phil is better at this than the Philharmonia, wonderful orchestra though the Philharmonia is. And I think Schwarzkopf is better than Erich Kleiber's Maria Reining as the Marschallin.
This film has been available on DVD, though it doesn't seem to be readily found now. I have just managed to get the DVD (new) through a marketplace seller on Amazon.de. Get it if you possibly can!