Manon Lescaut has always been, to me, (along with La Boheme and Tosca) the ultimate Puccini experience, and this recording, in this reviewer's ears, is the ultimate Manon Lescaut. Madame Callas is, quite simply put, breathtaking. Her singing in the first act is fresh and lyric, while her performance in the last act is stupendous, realizing a pathos and tragedy seldom matched by anyone. As great as La Divina was, let us not overlook the Tenor of this recording, Guiseppe Di Stefano. Di Stefano is in brilliant voice here. His "Tra Voi Belle" and "Donna non vidi Mai" display a lyric vibrancy and intensity that Di Stefano became world renowned for (the best Tenor in the role of the Puccini des Grieux on record, next to Jussi Bjoerling). Di Stefano's "Ah Manon mi Tradisce" will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat. What exciting singing and passion the great Sicilian displays here. The conducting is in the always capable hands of Tullio Serafin, who does an exemplary in this recording. Since both the Bjoerling/Albanese and the Del Monaco/Tebaldi recordings appear to be out of print, you simply MUST own this one. This is a truly great recording of the Puccini masterpiece and with the deletions of the afore mentioned recordings, this CD becomes even greater. Treat yourself to real Italian opera at its finest and purchase this recording. A priceless gem!