There are many, many recordings of Puccini's Tosca to choose from, but for me - and I've listened to a lot of them - this is one of the finest.
Vocally, Riciarelli is outstanding, with a sweet voice and trademark syrupy vibrato, but it's also strong when called for. However, this is the recording that many have cited as having ruined that voice, with the blame laid at Karajan's feet for having pushed her beyond her limits. Whatever the results, we still have a wonderful vocal performance for posterity out of it.
This is Carerras' finest role. He is assured in his performance and vocally is more than a match for it. I personally don't think many others come close.
Raimondi, as always in this role, is a phenomenon. And what an actor!
Perhaps the biggest accord should go to Karajan himself, who seems to know instinctively what tempi work best in Puccini. And the sounds he coaxes from the Berlin Philharmonic ... I'm not bothered by the processes, whether in the recording studio or at the mixing desk, only the finished result - and the result here is heaven to my ears.