This Naxos double CD is effectively a reworking of the original single CD release `The Best of Puccini', expanded to include more of the composer's music then attractively packaged with new artwork and a card slip-case cover showing an amusing caricature of the composer.
As with any `Best Of' compilation much of the composer's work will inevitably be omitted although surprisingly, given his popularity, Puccini wrote just 38 works and 12 of these appear in various abbreviated forms on these CDs so the 2 and a half hours of music here give a good cross-section of his compositional style.
The sleeve notes are helpful for those wanting a little more than these highlights, for they provide recommended further listening (all Naxos label CD's of course!). But for those who do not wish to delve any deeper and are content with these types of collections there are a number of other Naxos `Very Best Of' releases featuring other composers, which together can form the basis of a respectable and reasonably comprehensive classical music CD library.
In summary, an informative and attractively presented mid priced CD.
(The complete Naxos `Very best Of' series features Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Dvorak, Elgar, Grieg, Handel, Mozart, Puccini, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Satie, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Strauss (Johann) II, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Vivaldi).