It was back in the 1970s that Placido Domingo first mentioned his desire to sing Tristan. He claimed then that it would come at the end of his career, the last role he would add to his repertoire. I suspect that in the interim he's refused numerous offers to sing the complete opera on stage. He was also the tenor of choice for the ill-fated Solti/Decca studio recording, which was cancelled after the conductor's death in 1997. In short, we've waited a long time to hear Domingo in this music, and this disc rewards us amply for our patience. The recording presents two of Wagner's most exciting scenes for soprano and tenor, excellently sung and beautifully accompanied, and Domingo is just one of its strengths.
The tenor's voice is no longer that of a young man: it's darker, a little less tightly focused, and he applies himself somewhat carefully to Wagner's longer and higher phrases. And there's no doubt that the microphones help him cope with the heavy orchestrations. But what gorgeous sounds he makes! His voice is perfectly firm from top to bottom and his legato is glorious. Something in his sound suggests romantic ardor, and he sings here with a passion that few modern Heldentenors can equal. I found him more convincing as Tristan; Siegfried, I think, simply needs a younger sound. But as always with this artist, he convinces you that he's right for (most of) what he sings. For my money, the real star here is Voigt, who fully deserves equal billing. Her voice is astonishing: big in scale, bright in tone, perfectly projected, with jaw-dropping amplitude on high, sustained notes. She never sounds strained or uncomfortable, and every word is perfectly intelligible. Although she is a more straightforward interpreter than her tenor, she always sings within character. I loved hearing her in this music, and hope this isn't her last stab at the big Wagner roles.
Pappano's direction fully captures the sexual energy and sensuality of the music, and his 'Tristan' postlude (in the concert version recorded here) is breathtaking. And finally, don't tune out Violeta Urmana's Brangaene; she's one of the world's top dramatic mezzos and possesses a rich, exotically colored voice. She can hold her own in this company.
So yes, don't hesitate! It's good!