I am a great fan of Thomas Stewart, which is why I bought this recording; I think his Wotan for Karajan and his Sachs for Kubelik are true monuments to his lovely voice and interpretative skills, but this "Holländer" simply does not hit the spot. I wondered why I was not previously aware of it and having played it, I can see why it is somewhat disregarded compared with other, classic accounts such as the live 1955 Bayreuth recording conducted by Keilberth. Sure, with Keilberth, you have to put up with relatively congested mono sound but it is now available in stereo on the Pristine label; they used the Eclipse stereo issued in the 70's as the basis for their own re-mastering which is well worth the extra cost. However, even in mono the intensity of the drama of the piece really emerges vividly when you have the voices and acting skills of two such performers as Uhde (who died prematurely) and Varnay.
Stewart never really gets under the skin of the tormented Dutchman and barely hits his stride vocally - maybe Bohm's rather rushed conducting harried him. As for Gwyneth Jones, that infamous wobble seems to be more prominent here than it is in her superlative Ortrud in Kubelik's studio "Lohengrin", recorded around the same time as this live performance; it is too obtrusive to allow me to admire her customary commitment to characterisation. Ridderbusch is his usual smooth, rotund self (the voice, not the man), Harald Ek as the Steersman is very good, displaying a fine, robust voice and really differentiating amongst the three verses of his ballad before succumbing to sleep - but a tenor called Hermin Esser, the Erik, is truly awful.
As a whole, this is not really worth purchasing when, if you want stereo, you can hear either the Pristine issue mentioned above or the splendid London and Rysanek in Dorati's 1961 set or even Karajan's later, troubled version with the noble, intense Van Dam and the best Daland in Kurt Moll - but Vejzovic is a bit of a trial compared with Silja and Varnay and Karajan too low-key and "symphonic". (I personally do not rate Theo Adam's Dutchman in Klemperer's EMI set, but others seem to like it very much; for me, he hasn't enough voice.)
So I reluctantly give this the thumbs down - I wanted to like it - and would steer you towards any of the other three sets I mention above.