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Nevermind - Musica Viva Australia

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by John Andrew (subscribe)
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One wonders how the audience would have reacted had they known that French early music quartet "Nevermind", formed when the musicians were students at the Paris Conservatoire, takes its name from the landmark 90s grunge album by Nirvana.

By the end of the "Selections of the art of Fugue" by Bach all, I suspect, would have been forgiven. "Early music has rarely sounded as chic or brilliant!" says their publicity blurb and they more than live up to that desc/ription.

"A thoroughly engaging mix of virtuoso expertise and unpretentious charm" says the Limelight review and the capacity audience would undoubtedly have agreed.

Your reviewer was, the previous week, at a concert where the applause would best have been described as "polite". "Nevermind" on the other hand were greeted with deserved warmth and enthusiasm.

Whatever the name of the quartet is meant to signify, it is not laisser-faire casualness. Their ease of manner cannot disguise their passion and their focus.

As Rob Kennedy says "If there's one thing that sticks out with Nevermind, it's that quality music is at the heart of their experience. While hearing them perform, many in the highly focused audience were leaning forward into the music, not to hear it better, but to experience it more."

And hearing them play was a wonderful experience. I asked a colleague how he would summarise their playing of Bach. "One word, 'perfection'" he said.

For many of us, their rendition of six movements form Telemann's "Paris Quartet" was the highlight of the evening. "This was the music that brought us together" they told us, and it showed.

We left on a "high" and (should we live so long) it will be a delight to hear these young musicians further along their musical journey.

If not, never mind.

Anna Besson flute
Louis Creac'h violin
Robin Pharo viola da gamba
Jean Rondeau harpsichord

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Why? Engaging, entertaining,memorable
When: 15-26 October
Where: Conservatorium
Cost: $80 - $120
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