This is the highlight of Karajan's much-maligned and under-rated Ring Cycle, although one which emhasises purely musical values over dramatic ones. The cast is first-rate: Janowitz is quite simply the most beautiful Sieglinde on record, undramatic perhaps, but singing with radiant, youthful beauty. Vickers gives a characteristically intense performance as Siegmund, only slightly marred by a sort of crooning delivery in quieter passages, must noticeably in the famous "Wintersturme" song. Crespin makes an unusually youthful Brunnhilde, ideally balancing the sensual and heroic in her fine characterisation. Some find Stewart lachrymose and unsubtle as Wotan, but his singing is powerful and musical, with much firmer and more pleasing tone than the aging Hans Hotter could muster for Solti's celebrated account of the tetralogy. Underpinning all of this fine singing is the unparalleled playing of the BPO, the real stars of the recording, and the gorgeous, detailed interpretation of Karajan. No other recording of Walkure can match this one for the sheer beauty and intensity of the orchestral sound, and the masterly shaping of the whole if it were one grand symphony. The recorded sound is acceptable, though not outstanding for the time. There is noticeable tape hiss, and the remastering seems to have brought the voices forward and created an unnatural sound picture which compares unfavourably with the old LPs. In spite of this, lovers of fine Wagner singing, conducting and orchestral playing should find much to delight them here.