An interview with
What was your inspiration for this recording?
I like making programmes that have a theme but at the same time can be very contrasting. I did some recitals where I played Gaspard de la nuit and the Bartók in the second half, and the first half was sometimes Schumann Fantasiestücke.
I felt that it could be a nice combination for a recording. I think a programme should always have links and stories behind them. It can be very subjective and personal, actually, in a way I think it has to be. Gaspard de la nuit is a challenge. Is that its appeal?
It is extremely difficult, of course, but it’s not the pianistic challenges that are attractive to me. It’s an incredibly brave piece and it brings an atmosphere which is very appealing; Ravel’s musical world is unbelievable. The challenges are that some of the difficulties should be not heard; one should really not concentrate on the pianistic part. Everything is serving the expression, and that’s very difficult to achieve. It’s really like telling a story.
How do you connect Schumann to Bartók, decades apart?
I find the connection between the pieces very interesting. Somehow for me Schumann and Bartók would not fit so well together next to each other; it needs the Ravel, it’s like a composition. If you see what the sound of night is for Ravel and Bartók it’s very different, but I find a link somehow, a step forward. From Schumann it’s more this fantasy world, like telling stories and writing diaries. It is this fantasy world which brings these pieces together.