Obituary: Orrea Pernel

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The Independent Online
Pernel Imogen Yolande Wilson (Orrea Pernel), violinist, born St Mary's Platt Kent 9 July 1906, died Bideford Devon 23 February 1993.

WITH the death of Orrea Pernel we have lost one of the last direct links with the great Joachim tradition of violin playing, writes Christopher H. Cowan. She was a pupil of Adila Fachiri who, with her sister Jelly d'Aranyi, had been a pupil of their great-uncle Joseph Joachim. She also studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Edouard Nadaud.

Pernie's students will always treasure her warm-hearted friendship and inspiring teaching. She had close associations with the International Cello Centre (ICC) both in London and subsequently in Scotland where her master- classes were always a great pleasure and inspiration. At one of the ICC summer courses at Schloss Breiteneich, Austria, in 1970, her playing of the Bach Chaconne was unforgettable. She had previously collaborated with Pablo Casals in the US and at the Prades Festival, as well as studying the baroque violin for six months, and so it is good to know that her recordings of Bach unaccompanied suites have been preserved, for her playing not only has the authentic approach but also shows those monumental qualities that are sadly lacking in so many superficial performances of today.

Although Parkinson's disease prevented her from playing the violin in recent years, she mentioned in a telephone conversation that she was playing Beethoven piano sonatas 'at her own speed': this was typical of her indomitable spirit.

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