The Philips Classics DUO range of double CDs is generally available at a mid price and usually offers good recordings, although not necessarily recent ones, by recognised performers.
This Best Of Handel release from 1996 has stood its ground for many years while facing competition from many others, some of which may be bigger and better while others are less than satisfactory.
As an introduction to Handel this is a good choice, for it includes a few complete works - such as the Music for the Royal Fireworks, chamber orchestra concertos and a concerto grosso - while other works such as the Water Music, are slightly shortened to give the highlights plus a bit more.
Some of the operas and oratorios which obviously can't be played in full are represented by pieces like the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba from Solomon and Hallelujah from Messiah.
The coronation anthem Zadok the Priest is an essential inclusion, and the set is rounded off with a few orchestral and choral snippets.
The recordings and performances are good, with a casting of established orchestras and big name conductors like Sir Neville Marriner, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Colin Davis, Raymond Leppard and Bernard Haitink.
Despite its age this is still a good `Best Of' collection which offers quality and value.