I would not hesitate to buy this CD. While the length (2 cd's) may seem daunting, the music is superb and establishes Britten as one of the great English Composers of the 20th century. He went to Bali to hear the gamelon music that was native to the Bengalese, and incorporated it into this piece. That music can be heard in the 2nd act. The music is mysterious, powerful, eerie at times, and full of colorful harmonies and scales indicative of the gamelon. He never uses the gamelon in the orchestration, but instead uses the harp and other percussion instruments to imitate the sound.
There are so many other wonderful moments in the music, I could spend all day retelling them. If you want to listen to a piece that is not quintessential Britten like the War Requiem, then this CD is a must.