The re-opening of Bayreuth after the war created a number of outstanding recordings and this disc of Act 3 of Wagner's "Die Walkure", a live recording, made in 1951, from Herbert von Karajan's complete "Ring" cycle of that year, is wonderful. EMI made a digital remaster in 2007 of Walter Legge's original recording and Simon Gibson of EMI is to be congratulated on the quality of the result. I have not heard the earlier long playing record but this disc gives a great impression of being in the house and the singers' voices have an authentic balance set against the Festival Orchestra which plays magnificently under Karajan.
The principal singers, Astrid Varnay, Leonie Rysanek and Sigurd Bjoerling, are splendid, and while some writers have been critical of Bjoerling's Wotan, on the strength of this recording he sounds great: commanding and authoritative.
The booklet accompanying the disc is comprehensive, with the libretto and stage moves set out in three languages, and an interesting note on the historical background by Richard Osborne.