This recording relights a passion for Puccini, and Italian opera in general, that I have not felt since I was much younger and heard the Callas/de Sabata Tosca for the first time. Like that recording, this recording is the definitive benchmark recording for this opera. Tebaldi and Del Monaco are in their element - one of the great 20th Century couples in full flight; Tebaldi's tone is rounder and more brilliant than any other Minnie while creating a superbly rounded character and Del Monaco is remarkably convincing.
The sound here is very good - I would rate this, beside Culshaw's Aida with Karajan, as one of the best sounding opera recordings in terms of conveying atmosphere.
Recommended without hesitation