The Rattle Fidelio is outstanding from an overall and an orchestral standpoint. Based on a new Barenreiter performing edition (although I'm not sure I could tell what differences are notational and what are performance-based), Sir Simon presents Beethoven's musical structure in an incredibly moving and dramatic way, and the Berlin Philharmonic shines. I find no fault with Sir Simon here. His grand pauses and tempi are unusual...but who says we have to hear this the same way all the time? The voices of Marzelline, Jaquino, Rocco, Pizarro, and Don Fernando (Quasthoff) are fine to excellent. The vocal leads, however, disappoint. Florestan (Villars) is clean but boring, unidiomatic, non-pathos-laden, and completely inadequate for the essential dramatic requirements of the role (Jon Vickers where are you?). Leonore (Denoke) is also less than optimal, especially in the "Abscheulicher!". With a better Florestan and a better Leonore this would have been a great recording. As it is, it is worth hearing. Whether you want to own it or not depends on how many Fidelios you want on your shelf. It's definitely not the one and only, and no recording of Fidelio that I know of even comes close to being that, but to the extent that singing matters (after all, this is an opera) there are better.