For the price of a cheap concert ticket you can risk buying a disc like this knowing if it isn't any good, you've not really lost more than an evening's listening.
And, if it is as good as this you've got a gem of a CD introducing you to a composer who you might otherwise never hear.
I won't make massive claims for Finzi: He is a Jane Austen of a composer - provincial, light, witty and entertaining. He isn't a Beethoven or a Brahms.
Having said that, there are moments of darkness, moments of depth, especially in the Clarinet Concerto (surely this recording should mean more live performances?), but the lasting impression is more of joy and, 'Englishness'.
Elgar lies behind this music, as does Vaughn Williams, Holst and Parry - and a whole host of English music teachers (all honourable!). Finzi isn't making cheap copies, he has a voice of his own, a voice with a very strong sense of place and time.
The performances are fine - Robert Plane's clarinet sings lyrically and the Northern Sinfonia under Howard Griffiths support well giving a breath of fresh air to this neglected repertoire.
(By the way - I like Jane Austen)