What was your vision for this enticing programme?
We came up with the idea that Ysaÿe should be the central figure; he was a very important composer in the violin repertoire. There are so many connections to him and these were only a few that we found; there’s also the Chausson Poème and other works that we just couldn’t fit on the disc, so we had to make a choice. The Vierne sonata is so rarely played and the Boulanger was just a little encore that we did in concert when we played this programme. It seems to have become a tradition now to find little pieces like that – actually it’s Cédric who finds them. We always enjoy them so much that it’s a shame not to put them on the disc at the end. So, it’s like a little dessert!
Ysaÿe was a violinist himself, but he didn’t write the easiest music for the instrument did he?
Well I guess not, but he also knew how to make things sound more difficult than they really are; it actually fits very well on the hand. His language is so complete; that’s why he was so important. He had such a unique style of writing for the violin and it’s not just virtuoso stuff, but it’s also his own language. I find that his music really sounds like nothing else; he had his own take on things, his colours and his imagination. I think it’s very special music.
How has your partnership with Cédric evolved?
I don’t think we talk very much in rehearsal now; we just play. After so many years you get to know each other so well and you have so much trust and support for one another that it feels very natural to play together now.