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Published on Jan 12, 2009
A very difficult piece played by the first great women violonist Marie Hall and later Ginette Neveu (1919-1949). Recorded on 21 December 1904; London
Marie Hall (April 8, 1884 - 11 November 1956) was an English violinist.
She was born Mary Pauline Hall in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. She received her first lessons from her father, who was a harpist in the orchestra of the Carl Rosa Opera Company. She also studied with a local teacher, Hildegarde Werner. Marie's family moved around the country with her father and spent some years in Guarlford a small village near Malvern. When she was nine, Émile Sauret heard her play but her parents did not follow his advice to send her to the Royal Academy of Music in London (Oxford DNB). She continued to study under several well known teachers, including Edward Elgar in 1894; August Wilhelmj in London in 1896; Max Mossel in Birmingham in 1898; and Professor Kruse in 1900 in London. In 1901, upon the advice of Jan Kubelík, she went to study under his old tutor Otakar Ševčík in Prague.
She played for the first time in Prague in November 1902; Vienna in January, 1903; and made her London debut on February 16, 1903, scoring a success in all these places.
She possessed a technique which she believed was entirely due to Ševčík's teaching. While she appeared to be not very strong physically, she proved herself strong enough to engage upon long tours and perform exacting programs without fatigue.
Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote The Lark Ascending for Marie Hall, and dedicated it to her. She gave the first public performance at the Queen's Hall under Adrian Boult in 1921. She played the Viotti Stradivarius, which is now among the exhibited instruments in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
In 1911 Marie married her manager Edward Baring; they settled in Cheltenham and had one child, Pauline (Oxford DNB). For the last years of her life she lived in Cheltenham in a large Victorian villa, Inveresk, in Eldorado Road. Marie has been described as a very charming woman, very small and jolly and with a great sense of humour. She was also extremely generous. Marie Hall died in Cheltenham on November 11th 1956, aged 72. The 1709 Stradivarius violin, which she had played for over 50 years and which became known as the Marie Hall Stradivarius, was sold at Sothebys in April 1988 for a record £473,000 to an anonymous South American bidder (Malvern Gazette).