First off, DG was making the best recordings at Bayreuth in the 1960s and early 1970s. This Holländer along with Böhm's legendary Tristan from 1967, and Boulez's Parsifal from 1970 were the only 3 DG recordings.
Philips was the main recording agent on the Green Hill at the time, and excellent as they were, DG were better.
The Böhm Tristan and Boulez Parsifal are justly famous and should be in every Wagnerian collection and even the collections of discerning opera-philes who want only the VERY best recordings in their libraries.
This Holländer is, I think, worthy of the same treatment. It isn't The Best but it is a wonderful capture of the Bayreuth acoustic. No fancy engineering, just a couple of mikes properly placed and that does the trick.
The cast is quite good, the only let-down being Erik, a Jon Vickers soundalike, until closer inspection, who carries his end well (it's a short thankless role) and actually makes you root for Senta's pash for the mysterious, sexy Dutchman when he floats into her ken. So no prob with the Erik. Domingo's Erik, by comparison, for Sinopoli, is a BIG HUGE prob because he sounds like a Latinate troubadour who has floated ashore in a tattered fishing boat outta the bay of Naples. Hermin Esser, Böhm's Erik does not inspire those kind of derogatory fantasies on the part of the experienced listener (a listener who expects value for his money).
Thomas Stewart is a lighter-voiced Holländer than usual, sounding almost helden-tenorish at times. His lower register is not as powerful as some, Hans Hotter, Hermann Uhde, Falk Struckmann or Alan Titus, for instance, but he is consistently In character and believable. His neurotic love interest, Senta, is portrayed with great depth of expression by Gwyneth Jones. I must add she is completely steady of tone. The thing with Gwyneth is that her intense and powerful voice often sounds like its wobbling when it is simply in high throttle and emitting syne waves at a high pitch and fast velocity. I've heard her in hyper-drive live in the house when the entire upper balcony in the San Francisco Opera were plugging their ears with their fingers, experiencing temporary deafness after her final lines in Die Walküre in 1985. Never to be forgotten. The Russian consulate staff was sitting near me and even they were impressed… da..da! God bless Gwyneth. She may not be ideal, as was Anja Silja for Sawallisch in 1962, also from Bayreuth (THE recording if you want a live one never to be repeated again), but she was a treasure and peremptory dismissers of her art are blinkered fools! So there.
Joneses Senta is extremely good, capturing the repressed sexual hysteria of the poor girl, stuck in some remote fjord with a bunch of clots after her for her breeding acumen, and family connection. Who wouldn't throw themselves into the waves to follow a dream rather than face THAT kind of reality? Now I ask you?!
Karl Ridderbusch is a superb Daland, right up there with Karajan's fatherly Kurt Moll, my favorite in this part.
Otherwise Karajan's recording is a pretty much a flop. Look for the live Salzburg performance with mostly the same cast, except for Catarina Ligendza's splendid Senta in place of Dunja Vejvovic's rather flawed one on the commercial recording.
DG recorded in a very in-your-face manner at Bayreuth. Philips allowed for more spacial perspective in Böhm's Ring and Boulez's Ring and all the others they made, mostly with Sawallisch. Classics all.
I happen to like the close focus on the singers. No one disappears into the woodwork, like Martti Talvela's sonorous bass Knappertsbusch's 1962 Parsifal, where he sounds like a 90 lb weakling at the back of the stage.
Karl Böhm generates Energy par excellence. There is nothing fancy about his conducting. He barely twitched when viewed live on the podium, but the results are something else entirely. This Holländer seethes with oceanic power and sexual angst. That is what this opera is all about.
I am partial to Dohnanyi's studio version on Decca with the highly under-rated (like Thomas Stewart) Robert Hale, with Hildegard Behrens in her finest Wagner recording.
The Sawallisch from 1962 with Franz Crass and Anja Silja is still The One. But you can't have just one of any of Wagner's titles.