Much to admire in these readings (from January 2021 & June this year) of these two D-major Violin Concertos, if occasionally one feels the performers are trying a little too hard, not so much to be consciously different, rather it’s more about pressuring the music. That said, Beethoven’s first movement flows nicely, if occasionally rushed/lacking poise, Vilde Frang is technically immaculate, sweetly lyrical, and intimate when required, and the ‘period’-leaning Bremen players are detailed (not least timpani, a boon in the cadenza, taken from the composer’s Piano Concerto arrangement of the work, I assume in Schneiderhan’s transcription even if there’s no credit for him) and collegiate. The slow movement is songful and blows in from the Elysian Fields, while the Finale enjoys a ‘sensible’ tempo to enhance its dance and buoyancy, with a few extra notes for the oboe (harmless if pointless) – but I really dislike Frang’s linking passage between the two, distracting and delaying. The compact four-movement Stravinsky is best in the middle movements, both entitled ‘Aria’, very expressive and moving, especially ‘II’, the outer ones somewhat frisky, the opening ‘Toccata’ over-stabbed at times, if vivid under Pekka Kuusisto’s direction, Frang unfailingly characterful (perhaps too much so), and the final ‘Capriccio’ is certainly nippy although rather strained at this headlong tempo despite all challenges being met, no stitches dropped. The booklet note consists of a VF/PK conversation and both works are well-recorded on Warner Classics 0190296677403.