This is an outstanding, traditional performance of Verdi's greatest masterpiece. Conducting, singing and acting all top rank. The cast is as good as could have been found at the time, with Freni, Bonney, Horne and Graham all outstanding. As Sir John, Plishka is outstanding - he really looks the part and acts superbly without overdoing things. The smaller parts are all well taken and Levine conducts a really lively performance with great brio. Perhaps the scenery for the fairy scene is a bit overdone, but that's being picky. This is a real fun performance. Just listen to the final fugue and you'll feel better about life! There are other ways of doing this work but this is highly recommended.
The music and singing have been rightly praised but it's also worth noting that this is a classic comedy, a Shakespearean farce that's acted every bit as well here as in The Globe's current play in London. Excellent value for money as the disc cost me no more than a cinema ticket.
This production has great singing, acting, sets and costumes. It gives great satisfaction. It's not in HD but otherwise gives full satisfaction. I love Plishka's Falstaff. He sings with real warmth, joviality and pathos, excellent! The cast is universally superb.