More a musical play than an opera, Humperdinck's Sleeping Beauty piece is at least by a third, spoken dialogue. What music there is however, is absolutely lovely. This composer, who learned much from Wagner and held his own with Mahler and Richard Strauss, was a great orchestrator and creator of gorgeous tunes. Both are in full evidence here. One could have done without the dialogue, but NOT without the melodramas for the wicked witch, delivered with great relish, by Birgitte Fassbaender.. The music would then have fit on a single disc.
The singing here is just fine, although there are no real standout performances. Conductor Ulf Schirmer gets beautiful sounds out of the orchestra.
The sound recording is excellent, and there are good liner notes, text and translation.