Written as a direct reference to that poem from François Villon (1431-1489):
"The Ballade of the Ladies of yesteryears"
Ysaÿe doesn't try here to describe every word of the poem, but he keeps that sort of nostalgic interrogation that Villon asked at the end of each stroph:
"Tell me where, in what contry
Is Flora the beautiful romain,
Archipiades or Thaïs
Who was her cousin germans ?"
And he also kept that tragic answer, under the form of an interrogation:
"But where are the yesteryears snows ?"
Ysaÿe like Villon, ends also each episod by a kind of a cadence, which, as a sort of a gust of wind that sweeps all that had been said before, leaves only place for the souvenirs.
That was recorded in a concert at the 50th anniversary of Ysaÿe's death (1931-1981)
Piano: Christine Hartley
Violin: Jean-Claude Féret