G W L Marshall-Hall, Fantaisie No. 1 in A Major

For violin and pianoforte – Melbourne c. 1904-7
Edited by Richard Divall
Australian Music Series – MDA034
ISBN 978-0-9925673-3-0 / ISMN 979-0-9009655-3-0


MDA034 Marshall-Hall Fantaisie in A major_0007 MDA034 pic1
G W L Marshall-Hall was born in Hyde Park, London in 1862 and died in Melbourne on 18 July 1915. Born into a medical family, Marshall-Hall studied from the age of sixteen at Kings College, London, and then in Montreux in Switzerland. Destined for the civil service, he decided on music as a career. From 1880 he studied in Berlin, before returning to London in 1882 to further study at the Royal College of Music, where his teachers included Sir Hubert Parry and Frederick Bridge. The then Director of the College, Sir George Grove recognised his talent, and his wide interest in literature and in the history of music. Sir George wrote that Marshall-Hall was a man with an ‘inquiring turn of mind’, and ‘there is some evidence of a temper of no mean order’.

MarshMDA034 pic2all-Hall was beginning to make a mark for himself as a composer in England, but in 1887 an advertisement appeared for the position of the inaugural Ormond Professor of Music at The University of Melbourne. His application for the position was successful, and he arrived in Melbourne in January 1891 to take up the post. He quickly established a reputation for bohemianism, as a musician who could inspire both students and staff, and as a conductor. Marshall-Hall’s programming in concerts was adventurous and demanding, and his output as a composer ranged from two operas to two symphonies, several orchestral tone poems, chamber works and many songs.

The Two Fantaisies for Violin and Pianoforte were composed around 1904 to 1907 and were published in the latter year by Schott and Co, Mainz, with the plate numbers 28041 for Fantaisie One in A major and 28042 for Fantaisie Two. The first work was dedicated to the German musician Eduard Scharf, who was an outstanding keyboard teacher at the University Conservatorium of Music at The University of Melbourne.