This is a most characterful and rewarding Merry Widow, and one look at the cast list should tell you exactly why. Elisabeth Schwarzkopf was peerless as Hanna Glawari and she gives a dedicated, multi-layered and even perhaps slightly fliratious performace. Wachter plays Danilo as a rather nasty character, and it pays off. In the Dummer Reiter duet, Schwarzkopf' Hanna sounds as if she's ready to murder Danilo with her own bare hands, while Wachter is trying to put on innocent airs. Nicolai Gedda is very dreamy and gives a rather more melancholy performance as Camille, and is well mached by Hanny Steffek. Lovro von Matacic, a seriously underrated conductor proves that he should be better known, and the orchestra respnd to his direction wonderfully. Grab it. You won't get better.