The French Baroque sensations Nevermind make their national debut with Musica Viva, rewriting the rulebook on period-instrument concerts with an engaging mix of expertise and charm.
Looking more like members of a trendy Indie band, Nevermind are musical talents of a very different kind. This French foursome – Jean Rondeau (harpsichord), Anna Besson (flute), Louis Creac’h (violin) and Robin Pharo (viola da gamba) – are less about rock-n-roll and more about Baroque (no roll required).
Nevermind formed six years ago, when four friends, students of the Conservatoire National Supérieur in Paris at the time, casually got together to play some 18th-century chamber works. From these humble beginnings, the group has steadily risen through the ranks of Europe’s early music scene, taking its name from the philosophy ‘Never mind who you are. This music is for you!’
‘We really wanted to open up Baroque music and even classical music in general to younger people,’ says Besson, ‘So we prefer the atmosphere of our concerts to be very relaxed – we don’t wear formal clothes or all-black like many traditional groups do.’
Beneath the laidback vibe and disarming image is a musical vision of remarkable sophistication. As showcased on Nevermind’s two albums, rigorous period technique is the bedrock of their music-making. But this is tempered by a surprisingly flexible musicality that teems with individual flair that isn’t commonly found in historical performance.
Nevermind will perform two programs of Baroque masterpieces, showcasing Bach and Telemann in Program 1, including the Telemann works that inspired them to become a quartet – and glorious music of Marais, Couperin and Telemann, Quentin and Guillemain in Program 2.
Members of the group will also mentor talented students at masterclasses in Canberra, Perth and Sydney. Members of the public are welcome to attend. Please visit www.musicaviva.com.au/masterclasses for details.
The performers: Anna Besson flute/ Louis Creac’h violin/ Robin Pharo viola da gamba/ Jean Rondeau harpsichord
PROGRAM 1 Sydney Weekend
JS BACH Selections from The Art of Fugue, BWV1080/ Trio Sonata in G major, BWV1039/ Trio Sonata in C major, BWV529/ TELEMANN Paris Quartet no 1 in G major, TWV43:G1/ Fuga 14 from 20 Small Fugues, TWV30/ Paris Quartet no 12 in E minor, TWV43:e4
PROGRAM 2 Sydney Weekday
MARAIS Trios for the King’s Bedtime: Suite IV/ F COUPERIN Les Nations: L’Espagnole/ TELEMANN Paris Quartet no 4 in G minor, TWV43:g1/ QUENTIN Quartet Sonata op 15 no 3/ GUILLEMAIN Quartet Sonata op 12 no 3