The Dutch cellist talks about the pleasures and challenges of performing a three-night marathon of the masters’ cello works.

When did you first have the idea for the three-night marathon of all of the Beethoven Sonatas, the Bach Suites and the Brahms Sonatas?

The triple marathon is something I always wanted to do, so I’m very happy it’s happening. I’ve done the combination of Bach and Beethoven quite a few times, performing them in a very short time span, like consecutive days or one day in between or in a festival. But I am now completely preoccupied with recording all of the Brahms and Schubert works for piano and other instruments, so Brahms is very much on my menu. Performing Brahms is just so delightful and satisfying and it’s such a rich musical world. It’s very uplifting to reside in for a while.

Performing the six Bach Suites, which is something that I’ve done all my life, it’s obvious that it works. It’s a slightly longer process than the normal concert programmes, but what is a normal concert programme? A normal concert programme is what we started doing in the 20th century, but in the 19th century, programmes were either...