One of the great shames of recording history is that Otto Klemperer had so few opportunities to record Wagner during his long career. The great German conductor did record most of the composer's overtures and preludes, as well as a heartbreakingly beautiful Siegfried Idyll, but of the stage works, he recorded only one act of Die Walküre, Wotan's Farewell, and two complete operas: Lohengrin, in gratingly poor sound from Budapest in 1948, and this version of Der fliegende Holländer in very fine stereo sound from London in 1968. An even greater shame is that this performance is hardly representative of the conductor at his best; in fact, it could be said that it is very nearly Klemperer at his worst. The grand old man of the podium was 83 when this recording was made, and his performances had been going downhill for several years as the result of medical problems. The performance's lack of drive, cohesion, unity, and especially drama undermines it. There are good things here, though, mostly from the singers, but occasionally from Klemperer. Theo Adam is a worthy Dutchman, while Martti Talvela is an impressive Daland and Anja Silja is a fetching Senta. One can hear the heroic Klemperer at some points -- the storm music is persuasive and the transformation at the close is effective -- but overall, it is a disappointing performance.