Whenever I buy a set of CD's at such a discount price, I instantly question the reason(s) why they are so cheap. Especially when I see who the artist(s) are and what the record label is, as is the case here.
But my fears are laid to rest because I think this is one of the best value for money items I've ever bought.
I actually remember owning part of this Barenboim cycle on old vinyl LP's (in a different era!) so I know what I was to expect.
Being re-mastered on CD's has meant a new crispness and dynamics to the recording, breathing new life to, what I think are very competent and sensitive accounts of these wonderful works (I actually think this Beethovens' most expressive and intimate medium as he was, primarily, a pianist).
Barenboim has a very understated approach to the works; letting them, largely, speak for themselves. Not putting too much personal interpretation into them, but at the same time having a sensitivity and clarity to form and structure, and an understanding of the musical mind of the composer.
He is not frightened of including the exposition repeats. Something that was sadly not observed with other artists of the mid-to-late twentieth century.
Recordings are, by and large, good, considering their age (mainly 60's and 70's) when Barenboim was at his peak as a pianist. It's a shame though, that some of the works are not laid out in chronoligical or compositional order on the ten discs. If, like me, you want to follow the works in compositional order to grasp the musical thinking of the composer at the time: You have to chop and change discs somewhat! And also, even though there are adequate write ups for the music there is nothing on Barenboim himself.
But these are small quibbles considering that you're paying about 2-50 GBP per disc...
Great value for money and you won't go far wrong with them...