Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang calls Britten’s Violin Concerto “one of the greatest dramas in the repertoire” and has described “never feeling closer to death” than when playing the piece. What she means (I think) is the constant struggle within the violin part: Britten wrote the concerto in the late 1930s as a pacifist exiled in the US, and Frang seizes on the unresolved tension in the nervy, yearning writing. Her sound is superb – icy, fiery, whispered, ultra-rich – and her phrases pour out fearlessly, urgently. It’s a fresh and convincing performance. She couples the Britten with the 1945 wartime concerto by Erich Korngold and doesn’t apologise for its syrupy contours, but also brings out interesting nuances of doubt and fragility. James Gaffigan and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony are robust backers if not quite as sparky as Frang deserves.