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MOREL, Virginie (1799-1869)

Virginie Morel, baronne du Verger.

Born out of wedlock in Metz, Virginie Morel taught herself piano and, from the age of 12, played “the piano remarkably well” (Biographie universelle des musiciens), if we are to go by the sparse biographical details that exist about her. Encouraged by admirers to try her luck in Paris, she entered the Paris Conservatoire in July 1813 and rapidly attracted attention. Inspecting the student for the first time, Méhul noted “She has the most talent to become a great pianist”. Morel confirmed this by winning first prize in piano the following year, then by becoming the accompanist in Louis Adam’s class in 1814 and 1815. She completed her education by taking private lessons with Reicha (in harmony), Clementi and Hummel. During the French Restoration, she obtained a position with the Duchesse du Berry–whom she taught piano–and had her first works published, including her Trois Duettini pour piano et violon, dedicated to the Duchess. Her marriage, arranged by her patron in 1829 (with a dowry of 100,000 francs), took her away from musical life in Paris for quite some time: chief of staff in the African army, her husband Leroy–who was given the title of Baron du Verger by the court–took her to Algiers for about ten years before ending his military career in the Var department. Pensioned off in 1847, he retired with his wife to his family chateau, in Seiches (near Angers). Here, Virginie Morel continued to teach and compose, mainly producing works for her instrument of choice (including waltzes and eight melodic studies).

    Work - 1
  • Huit Études mélodiques (Virginie Morel)
  • Theme - 1
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