Published on

In Search of the Absolute with Bach

Mathias Ferré is no stranger to early music. He has shared the stage with prestigious baroque ensembles, but he is also working on a career as a soloist. Like many early music lovers, he is very fond of Johann Sebastian Bach. Bozar invites the talented young musician for a recital in the context of the Bach Heritage Festival.

This article is part of

Bozar Next Generation: 25 Years

The viola da gamba is a beautiful but rare instrument. How did you come to it?

I started my musical education with the piano and bassoon. I soon had the desire to discover a string instrument. It seemed quite natural to immerse myself in the baroque world with the viola da gamba. I have always been fascinated by the sound of this instrument, which is often compared to the human voice.

What do you think of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach?

I have always been enthralled by this music. It creates a perfect alchemy, which affects us deeply. When I play or listen to this music, I feel as if I am plunging into a universe rich in absolutes and moving towards complete wholeness.


What format will your recital take?

I have chosen to create a programme in the manner of a concerto grosso, alternating solitary meditations on the keyboard and the solo viola da gamba. Since Bach's repertoire for the viola da gamba is quite limited – there are only three sonatas - I decided to create transcriptions of sonatas and suites for violin and cello.

You play with many different ensembles and also solo. Do you waver between these two worlds?

For the moment, the balance between ensemble playing and solo recital suits me perfectly.


What would be your ideal?

I would like to successfully express with my instrument the many different feelings that stir and sweep over me.