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Bruno Monsaingeon: I cannot even imagine an existence without Bach


We offered to Bruno Monsaingeon, the documentary filmmaker to answer The Odessa Journal questionnaire. Let’s see what comes of it.


If you were born again, whom would you like to be?

Johann Sebastian Bach. Just because I find that Bach has been the greatest man who ever lived. His music is the mystery of a metaphysical experience together with the extreme fantastic lyrical expressivity of his music.

Tell us something you did, that you are very proud of?

The fact that I learned Russian.

Can you tell us a story of an event happened to you that you like to remember?

The 4th of October 1957, it was the day the Sputnik was launched. But for me it was the first time I heard Yehudi Menuhin. So the Sputnik had absolutely no interest for me, just I had reached my star in heaven, Yehudi, who became later my great friend. Fantastic man, divine spark. The greatest violinist who ever lived. A man of such great actions, such generosity, divinely inspired.

Foto: © Alexis Joly

A bad experience that you would not like to repeat at all.

When I was forced to make some films. I never do that. All my films are self-initiative, but sometimes I had to compromise because the funding of the films is so unbelievingly complicated and, once I was forced to make a film on a musician, which I did not want to do. But I cannot tell you about whom.

Say something rewarding to somebody of your everyday life, that you never had the time to tell him/her?

Well, I have a more general attitude in that sense. I want to convert people. Of course there is a strong Catholic tendency to that. But you can convert people in what you feel it is absolutely necessary. And feel that music is the fundamental.

What would you appreciate people say about you?

I really do not care.

Photo flickr.com

Is there a song that you never get bored of listening?

I will tell you a music that I will never listen to again. This is the Beethoven Opus 59 n.1 quartet. Never again! It is one of the greatest masterpieces of Beethoven. Do you know why? Because I played it with Yehudi Menuhin. And I want it to be in my years and brain forever. And I do not want to be contaminated by any other interpretation.

In case of nuclear cataclysm, is there a book or a music you would save?

Bach. Just because of what I said about Bach. Of course, there is a great temptation to say Marcel Proust, Rembrandt or Leonardo da Vinci, but I think that Bach really sums up all the greatness in the arts. I cannot even imagine an existence, in a metaphysical sense, without Bach.

A journey or experience that you would like to do, but never had the time to do it.

Something that of course it will never happen, because it is too late. I would like to play and win a Grand Slam tournament of tennis.

They will write a book on you. Which is the title?

“Who knows?”

A dream of yours not yet come true.

There are many, which I will try to make happen. All my films have been terrible struggles. Unfortunately, we need the funding of television, somehow. And television is not looking for the audience I am looking for. I would like to have a wider one. However, I want to do new films.