This performance was at the top of the list of recommendations when it was first released in 1987 (the recording was made in 1986), and it is equally good today. The Gramophone Good CD Guide 1994: Reviews of the Best Classical CDs You Can Buy, for example, still listed it first for the Nutcracker, and it was given high marks for quality of performance and sound. (From that Gramophone review: "Under Mackerras the music glows with colour and has superb vitality; the stunningly rich Telarc recording helps too. This is a wonderful entertainment from the first bar to the last and the documentation is admirable. As a bonus we are offered a charming duet from the Queen of Spades").
It is the second performance of the Nutcracker that I obtained for my collection, and both are so excellent that I do not feel that I need any others (the first purchase I made is Temirkanov conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, on RCA, probably still my favorite, but no longer available as far as I know: Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker (complete on 2 CDs)--Temirkanov/Royal Philharmonic Orchestra).
The Nutcracker is wonderful music, always enjoyable and particularly during the holidays, and Sir Charles Mackerras and the London Symphony Orchestra are faultless, as is the recording quality on Telarc CD. There is the added bonus that this 2-disc set is not one of the new issues that have been made without good booklets and notes. The 22 page (all in English) booklet included with this set includes a scene by scene explanation of the work, a nice short biography of the composer and the writing of the Nutcracker, and notes on the movie production and set design by Maurice Sendak ("Where the Wild Things Are").
An excellent choice for this timeless music, it will not disappoint you. At the current price (much less expensive that I paid when I purchased it some years ago), it is a bargain!