For me as an artist, the violin concertos by Benjamin Britten and Paul Hindemith represent a great challenge. It is precisely their juxtaposition that appeals so greatly to me, partly because Britten and Hindemith completed their concertos at about the same time. Both had a premonition in 1939 of the global conflagration which would be triggered by World War II, both left their native country. And in my view, the concertos are absolutely bursting with emotional turmoil, persisting precariousness, and latent despair.
As much as I love both works, it was still quite exhausting to record two such highly virtuoso works from the 20th century simultaneously, particularly from a physical point of view. The sessions in Berlin in April 2017 were a logical continuation of my close collaboration with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski, as we had already performed the Hindemith concerto together the previous January. So the music was still in our fingers, as it were.