I have known and loved this version of Wagner's masterpiece for thirty years, first on LP, then on CD - and I remain truly mystified by the received opinion that it is inferior to the later Solti set - which is, in fact, the weakest of that tetralogy; I would favour Karajan's thoughtful, refined, beautifully sung version over that. Both the latter and this Leinsdorf set feature Vickers as Siegmund. He is in excellent voice in both but even fresher and certainly less mannered here. As for the supposed superiority of Nilsson's later assumptions of Bruennhilde - like other reviewers of this set, I just don't hear it; here, she sounds superlative and not just a chromium plated virago, either - there are moments of supreme tenderness, especially in the Todesverkuendigung. Every role is sung by voices of towering power, conviction and grandeur - especially London's magnificent Wotan, which is a worthy companion to his account of that same role in Solti's "Rheingold", another of my favourite performances. The sound is excellent; the orchestra sonorous; Leinsdorf propels the action along with tremendous gusto. Brouwenstjin is really touching and suitably febrile as Sieglinde; the slight tremulousness in her voice, with its rapid, flickering vibrato, perfect to convey Sieglinde's terror and angst. The climax to Act One with Vickers is the highlight of the set, surpassed only by Melchior and Lehmann under Bruno Walter in their elderly (1935), but still gripping, Vienna recording.
Ignore the establishment view; this is the one Wagner recording I would be found clinging to if I had to keep but one. Nobody sings Wagner today like the artists on this set - and you have to make few compromises with the quality of sound to obtain such a great performance; it's very well recorded.