Most helpful critical review
I will stick to older versions...
on March 4, 2002
While beautiful in sound (despite the live), well conducted and full of spirit and enthusiasm, and arguably benefiting from better voices than the Dutoit version, this version can't match the appropriateness of the singing (and of the French) of the likes of Dame Janet Baker, tenors George Thill and Nicolai Gedda - or even Domingo in the Met telecast version. In particular Heppner is in my opinion somewhat lacking in this - despite obvious efforts toward purity of line and restraint in using the huge vocal means, he stops far short of his illustrious predecessors in these and in nobilty of tone - for example the nasal recitatives are more Wagnerian than Berliozian. He also needs very significant work on the French language. Hardly a word is understandable, and we are served mash potatoes, by Heppner, Martirossian, and de Young. Andrew Greenan is a very notable and appreciated exception in that regard.
I guess no single record set does this extraordinarily complex and expansive work justice, and this one is certainly valuable in many regards - but very, very far from definitive. What a shame it is treated as such by the record companies - and that other key versions, such as the vastly superiorly sung (IMHO) 1969, are no longer available.