This Naxos double CD is effectively a reworking of the original single CD release `The Best of Beethoven', 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 composers work will inevitably be omitted - Beethoven incidentally wrote around 396 works so the 20 pieces on these CDs represent only a small proportion of his lifetime works. There are however over 2 hours of music here to be enjoyed and it's a good cross-section of Beethoven's music.
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!). 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 can form the basis of a very respectable and 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).