There are precious few opportunities to hear this fantastic singer either live or on recording, which is a pity given her unique sound and impeccably-schooled voice.
One of the hallmarks of a great singer is a unique vocal quality. Such is true of Madame Podles. With the top voice of a dramatic soprano, a middle that sometimes resembles a counter-tenor sound, and a bottom voice that is almost baritonal, her sound may recall another singer's voice here and there, but ultimately, it is one-of-a-kind.
Ms. Podles has the perfect vocal qualities necessary to sing Rossini -- an incredible range, enormous flexibility, and subtle vocal coloration. On top of that, she has a unique vocal color and phrases beautifully.
The only possible quibble I can find with this recording is that a couple of the characterizations are a bit on the heavy side -- particularly Rosina. Although the notes are in place (and very impressive) and the coloratura impeccable, this Rosina sounds a bit older, perhaps more serious, than Rossini seems to require. In a later reading of the same aria, in a live 1998 concert in Poland (Rossini Gala recorded on DUX), her Rosina bubbles with youthful energy.
In general, that recording shows her in more brilliant voice, though both discs are impressive. Although several arias are common to the two, each has arias that the other lacks. Both are welcome additions to any vocal library, though if only one is possible, I'd recommend the 1998 recording over this one.