You don’t get too many ‘popular favourites’ compilations these days. What was that the impulse for you behind the album?
It’s distinctly old fashioned but, there are some great once-were-repertoire pieces that are falling through the net. It’s also kind of a reminder. When I was a kid, you had records and tapes and you got to know them inside and out because buying something was an event.
You formed relationships with your record collection. I had an LP of Karajan called “Philharmonia Promenade Pops” and it had short pieces on it – Chabrier’s España, I think, was the opening track. Originally, I was going to make a record of just those kinds of pieces that don’t get played anymore – what used to be called lollipops. But then when I started investigating out-of-the-way French repertoire specifically – and I do a lot of French music anyway – I realised there was actually a real need for some of this music to be re-recorded and grouped together in a context where you could see the way Debussy affected everybody. So, Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune became the centrepiece of the album...