Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the apoetheois of Ginette Neveu, said Princess Haiku

A new acquaintance of mine sent me a link to a youtube audio of a violin performance by Ginette Neveu. Her music has quite rightly been referred to as perfection; the very apotheosis of violin virtuosity.


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The intensity of Neveu's music is white hot and as she herself explained as a nine year old child, "I play it as I understand it."


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Ginette Neveu was, for 14 years, one of the most promising musicians of the twentieth century, a violin virtuoso who dazzled audiences in her native France with her performances, and listeners around the world with her recordings. She is remembered today for the promise of her few recordings, and the tragedy of her early death in an airplane crash.

Neveu's musical abilities manifested themselves very early in her life, and she achieved fame as an infant prodigy. Her formal debut took place at age seven and a half, with a performance of Bruch's G minor Violin Concerto in Paris. She quickly began winning prizes in competition, and took lessons from Georges Enescu, before entering the Paris Conservatory at age 11, where she earned the top student prize at the end of her first eight months there. It was her winning of the 1935 prize in the Wieniawski Competition at age 16, against a field of 180 competitors that included a 27-year-old David Oistrakh, that assured her international career more


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Neveu, Ginette, was a grandniece of Charles-Marie Widor. She studied with her mother, making her debut when she was seven as soloist with the Colonne Orchestra in Paris; after further studies at the Conservatory there, she won the premier prix at age 11; then completed her training with Enesco and Flesch. She won the Wieniawski Competition (1935), and then embarked on an acclaimed career as a virtuoso, touring Poland and Germany that same year, the Soviet Union (1936), and the U.S. and Canada (1937). After the close of World War II, she made her London debut (1945); then appeared in South America, Boston, and N.Y. (1947).



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Ginette Neveu gave her last concert on October 20, 1949. A week later, on October 27, she and her brother boarded an Air France flight en route to another series of concert engagements. All 48 passengers on board the flight, including the famous French boxing champion Marcel Cerdan, died when the plane flew into a mountain after two failed attempts to make a landing at the São Miguel Island airport in the Azores. It has been said that Ginette Neveu's body was found still clutching her Stradivarius in her arms.[1] more




Composer Henri Sauguet called Neveu’s death: a “divine abduction. After listening to some of the many audios of her playing on youtube I quite agree. I ordered a cd of her playing Brahms from Amazon today and look forward to hearing more of her music. Indeed, she appears on the video in this post as a burning angel; as a Jean D'Arc of the violin who leads her listeners on a spiritual odyssey and into auditory battle with the promise of victory.

8 comments:

Mairi Sharratt said...

Thanks for sharing this

Barbara said...

Delight

Princess Haiku said...

You are welcome Mairi and Barbara thanks for visiting my blog.

Cergie said...

First I'll say something funny : neveu in French is nephew, you know that. My aunt was "Tante Ginette", in fact "Ginette" was her nickname coming from her christian name "Geneviève".
Secondly, I knew Marcel Cerdan died in a plane crash. He was Edith Piaf's lover. I knew nothing about Ginette Neveu though and about this tragic encounter

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