While listening to this sumptuously and closely miked recorded live performance from Hamburg, the first word that comes to my mind is 'careful'. All the voices are never less than professionally adequate and are often much more so. Audience noise is never intrusive, stage noise is usually limited to an occasional foot stomping. Orchestral playing is top-notch with Simone Young providing excellent, but tight leadership, with none of the big moments disappointing. Engineering is very dynamic with fortes being room explosive and quiet moments as near whispers.
Reviewing the pictures included in the accompanying booklet of the staged production, we can only be thankful that this offering is limited to only an audio artifact from the event. From appearances, the production was horrendously modern and Wagner's stage directions ignored and irrelevent. What is missing is left to our theater of our minds--as it should be. I enjoyed the listening experience and while this release doesn't challenge my favorite Leinsdorf 1960 studio effort on Decca, those looking for the latest audio performance will not be disappointed here. Recommended. This release is also a part of a complete Ring cycle which is available for those so disposed.