This collection is a very valuable addition to the available recordings of opera in English mainly because of the four fairly lengthy and important Wagner selections. The three from Die Meistersinger are Pogner's from Act I and then of course there are Hans Sach's meditations from Acts II and III. In view of the limitations in sound quality of the complete 1968 Goodall recording of the opera in English these are very necessary to reveal Wagner's real sound world in these passages for anyone who particularly wants to hear them in English for the usual reasons - i.e. to experience full transparency and identification.
Then as a nice surprise we have not just the same Dutchman's monologue from the complete Chandos set with Tomlinson but a different translation made by the singer himself some years beforehand. The main advantage of this version is that it gives us much the better choice of 'No!' and 'No!' as the expostulations instead of Parry's inexplicable 'Ah!' and Ah!'. Why on earth, a few years later, did Tomlinson allow Parry to persuade him to change his obvious and perfectly correct 'No', which could even have been 'Oh!' rather than 'Ah' which is ridiculous in the context. I am not joking, these things are vital if we are to persuade the precious, the pedantic and the pretentious, of the need for opera in English to be as normal as in the original, provided of course that the translation is good enough.
It's a pity that, as usual with these Chandos collections of miscellaneous pieces, space is wasted with numbers from light opera or, as in the case of Tomlinson's other Chandos disc, the comic operas of G&S - not that I have any objection to them in themselves, it's just that in a situation where operatic arias in English are very hard to come by it makes no sense to include examples which are in such oversupply and always have been - no one likely to seek this disc out is going to be in need of an introduction to G&S that's for sure. But on this disc the fillers at the end of the disc are from Lortzing's 'The Armourer', of no musical interest apart from its being a bit of a showcase for bass, and the waltz passage from Die Rosenkavalier where it would have been much more valuable to have Ochs's wonderful grandiose self-advertisements from Act I, which are some of the fastest and most wordy in all Strauss and very difficult to follow in German unless you're fluent. It's so full of dramatic characterisation that it's difficult to understand how they could have resisted wanting to put it on this collection and it would certainly have shown the value of opera in English in a very obvious and effective way.