Why the fourth Beethoven Piano Concerto? There are so many recordings of this concerto that I admire, from Emil Gilels, Claudio Arrau and Wilhelm Kempf from one generation to Lars Vogt and Leif Ove Andsnes to another. The simple answer is that I wanted to record something that I enjoyed playing, and this concerto—one of my favourites—has always intrigued me. The moment the piano opens with this passage almost from nowhere, the association in the second movement of the tale of Orpheus taming the Furies at the gates to Hades to the jubilant Rondo third movement, I took to the concerto immediately when I first began studying it and I have travelled with the work having performed it several times over the years, and recently with the culmination of this recording.
Pairing it with the Mendelssohn Double Concerto was a very natural choice for me, because Zsolt is a regular duo partner and I wanted to have something on the disc that demonstrated both solo and duo repertoire.
With Clemens we really explored both the complexities of both concertos, the two requiring sometimes very different approaches, but both allowing the dialogue between the soloists and orchestra to come through. We learnt so much together and had a lot of fun.
Recording this disc is a realisation of the many people who have supported me throughout my musical years. I am so grateful that this has been achieved. (Min-Jung Kym)