This Butterfly cancels out many others...except for Callas and Scotto who could give the full rich drama of this piece on stage and in the studio(Scotto has pirated performances that are spectacular). Although Freni never sang Butterfly in the opera house she makes such a great figure of Butterfly on disc that one can only imagine on stage what could have been..possibly her greatest role, which she declined to do out of fear of the vocal demands. Such fear did not prevent her from going all outm in this set, along with Pavarotti(never better), and Christa Ludwig as Suzsuki(extraordinary), and Jeromoe Hines(superb), with Von Karajan conducting with great feeling and slow pacing that works. This is a known quanitity to be sure...but it needs to be staed that this Madama Butterfly is the very best. Freni re-recorded it with Sinopoli conducting on DG, and while good, it cannot go head to head with the Decca set. Enjoy.