Classical: new releases

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Schoenberg Die Jakobsleiter

Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Akiyama (Auvidis)

Schoenberg never completed this massive oratorio, based on the Biblical story of Jacob's Ladder. He first began in during the First World War and returned to it sparodically thereafter. Still, what there is forms a substantial 45-minute fragment, and the performance from the well-drilled Tokyo orchestra is substantial, too. Siegfried Lorenz is in fine form as the Archangel Gabriel, as are all the singers. HHHH

Finzi Clarinet Concerto etc

Northern Sinfonia, Griffiths (Naxos)

Gerald Finzi's output is relatively small, so a major slice of his orchestral oeuvre fits on to this single disc. Robert Plane weaves an entrancing solo line against the sympathetic accompaniment in the haunting concerto. The arrangement of the Five Bagatelles is also deftly handled, as are the other works. An ideal introduction to Finzi for under a fiver. HHHH