The performance here is OK, no mean praise for such a sophisticated opera, but it is no more than just OK.
I have no doubt that the Naxos wizards have markedly improved the sound from the original 78s, but the sound is still wretchedly inadequate to represent this most subtle and ingenious of all Verdi's scores.
If you have a taste for a historic performance that is truly extraordinary, seek out either the Toscanini version with Valdengo or the Karajan version with Gobbi. Both are better performances in every aspect and offer vastly better sound reproduction.
"Falstaff" is not very long, so Disk 2 of this set is filled out with 35 minutes devoted to soprano Pia Tassinari. Tassinari was one of the brightest of the generation of Italian singers whose careers centered on the years of World War II. In 1941 she married tenor Feruccio Tagliavini, with whom she made many recordings. She was always a fine, heavy-voiced soprano. At the end of her peforming career she shifted to mezzo roles, including a recording of Ulrica in "Ballo in maschera."
She sings items from Mozart, Wagner, Massenet, Mascagni and Puccini. That she sings the latter three very well is no surprise at all. That she even attempted the first two is unexpected. That she did it so well is astounding. Pia Tassinari: the unanticipated Compleat Prima Donna.