I can honestly say that he's the WORST, THE ABSOLUTE WORST, Wagner conductor I've EVER heard (and I know pretty much all of them[ [on record, anyway]), and probably the most irresponsible and commercial conductor who has that many records. You thought Karajan was a showman? Listen to his guy. Everything is rigid, mechanical, and splashy. You think Karajan has a "smooth sound" You think Solti's "rough" and "brusque"? You think Boulez "suppresses the leitmotives"? This guys is guilty to the first degree on all three counts.
No subtlety, no nuance; the brass are hellish, the strings, appropriately schizophrenic.
"obtaining a characteristically sumptuous sound from many of the great orchestras he conducted."
Sumptuous? Try sclerotic.
How is this guy famous? Uh. Why are his recordings still in print (I didn't buy them)?
And no, I will not keep this sacred rage to myself. His conducting is an aberration, a throng of vulgarity, a stampede of disgrace.
Before I had trouble coming up with a "worst conductor", since the ones I find third rate aren't so individualistic.
Now, it's easy.
Thank god he didn't get his hands on Mahler ... *shivers*...