Tryon Concert Association Presents
Karen Dreyfus, Viola, Hélène Jeanney, Piano
Glenn Dicterow, Violin
Saturday, November 9, 2019
7:30 p.m.


Tryon Concert Association dedicates its 65th anniversary season to the memory of Joella Utley. Joella was a dedicated member of the board, generous benefactor, esteemed colleague, exemplar in the writing of program notes, and good friend.


Märchenbilder, Op. 113

I. Nicht Schnell
II. Lebhaft
III. Rasch
IV. Langsam, mit melancholischen Ausdruck


Robert Schumann​ (1810-1856)

Sonata in F Minor, Op. 120, No. 1

I. Allegro appassionato
II. Andante un poco adagio
III. Allegretto grazioso
IV. Vivace (Rondo form)


Johannes Brahms​ (1833-1897)


Duo Lyrico for Violin and Viola

I. Romance
II. Allegro
III. Scherzando


Paul Chihara     (1938-    )

Passacaglia for Violin and Viola,
after Handel

I. Romance
II. Allegro
III. Scherzando


Johan Halvorsen   (1864-1935)

Suite Populaire Espagnole                            

for Viola and Piano

I. Romance
II. Allegro
III. Scherzando


Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)

Note on the Artists

​Karen Dreyfus enjoys a wide-ranging career as a noted soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and teacher. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Michael Tree and Karen Tuttle, she has won many prestigious awards, including the Washington International Competition, the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, and the Naumberg Viola Competition.

She has been hailed as “an artist who can interpret and make meaningful pieces masterpieces” (L’Essor Sarlardais). She has performed with major orchestras, noted soloists, and acclaimed chamber ensembles. Dreyfus and her husband Glenn Dicterow are currently on the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles; summers find them teaching at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara.

Her discography comprises many diverse works, including the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante, Walton’s Viola Concerto, and Romanze, a program of Hindemith, Schumann, Debussy, de Falla, and Bruch. Her collaboration with jazz pianist Chick Corea earned her a GRAMMY nomination for Best Chamber Music Performance.

Hélène Jeanney is known for her “beautiful rich sound, impressive temperament and passion” (Cleveland Plain Dealer). She graduated at age seventeen from the Paris Conservatory with First Prize in Piano and Chamber Music; she later won a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Indiana University with György Sebök and Menahem Pressler. Jeanney holds a Professional Studies Degree from The Juilliard School.

A winner of numerous prestigious awards and prizes Jeanney has been a soloist with the Paris Conservatory Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony, and the New England Symphonic Ensemble. She concertizes extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in New York and Europe and has appeared in solo recitals for the Chopin Society in Paris and other venues in London, Copenhagen, Edinburgh, and Sydney.

Glenn Dicterow, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic for over three decades, has performed under Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, and Alan Gilbert. He made his debut at age eleven with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, playing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, and has since distinguished himself as one of the most prominent concert artists of his generation.

He has an endowed chair at the USC-Thornton School, is chairman of the Manhattan School’s Orchestral Performance Program, and is the leader of the String Leadership Program at Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West, training new generations of concertmasters.

Notes on the Program


Märchenbilder, Op. 113
Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

This work, whose title translates to “Fairy Tale Pictures,” is not as well-known as many of Schumann’s other works but conveys the sweetness and charm of music inspired by traditional fairytales. There are no specific fairytales that have been identified as inspiration for this work; rather, the four movements present as a “systematic exploration of the coloristic possibilities” of viola and piano.

The slow opening movement intones a sad and flowing theme on the viola that is supported and echoed by the piano. This somber tune is hinted at throughout the entire piece.

The second movement, marked “Lebhaft,” in contrast, moves vigorously with dotted rhythms that impart the spirit of the hunt. Two lyrical episodes intervene before Schumann brings the rondo-like movement to a brief but quietly emphatic close.

The third movement, “Rasch,” moves rapidly as the viola initiates the exchange of vigorous passages of running triplets between piano and viola. The final movement, translated to “Slow, with melancholy expression,” is tinged with bittersweet sadness, or wistfulness, but ends with what has been characterized as childlike contentment.

Sonata in F Minor, Op. 120, No. 1
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)

Towards the end of his life, Brahms lavished particular care and affection on two chamber works for piano and clarinet. He apparently wanted these works to have a wide circulation, so he rewrote them for piano and viola. This sonata is one of these two works, has become a standard of the viola repertoire, and was one of the first important duo sonatas ever written for piano and viola.

Written in F minor, the sonata has a turbulent passion which that key seemed always to evoke in Brahms. It is an example of the “economy, yet richness” that Arnold Schoenberg said was the quality he most admired in Brahms. The work demonstrates the composer’s ability to instill a wide range of color and motion as well as a propensity for mercurial shifts of harmony and texture.

The opening “Allegro appassionato” conveys an impression of gravity and strength without compromising the lyrical nature of its ideas, typified by the yearning melody that follows the brief piano introduction. The coda brings the movement to an end in the major mode. The “Andante un poco adagio” is a quiet, nocturnal song that features the viola’s melancholy, rhapsodic turning figures and the piano’s descending arpeggios. The “Allegretto grazioso” is in the form of a country waltz and demonstrates the composer’s skill in counterpoint. Its tune is a transformation of the opening theme of the first movement. The “Vivace” finale is a bracing, almost boisterous major-key rondo and features a pealing, bell-like figure of three repeated notes, heard in both instruments.

Duo Lyrico for Violin and Viola
Paul Chihara (1938- )

Mr. Chihara’s work includes compositions for classical performers as well as works for dance, musical theater, and film. His prize-winning concert works have been performed in most major cities and arts centers in America and Europe. In addition to his concert works, he has composed scores for over ninety motion pictures and television shows.

Duo Lyrico for Violin and Viola was composed specifically for tonight’s performers, life-long friends and colleagues of the composer. Chihara calls it “a labor of love,” “an artistic tribute and a musical portrait” of Dreyfus and Dicterow.

The music is both lyric and very personal, built on two well-known and beloved models: the hymn-like song “Bist Du Bei Mir” (“When you are near I go with joy”), from Bach’s notebook for his wife, Anna Magdalena, and the second theme in Schubert’s String Quintet in C.

The first movement, “Romance,” restates the unison theme from the Schubert quintet before engaging in numerous meters, tonal centers, and themes. Then Bach’s song appears, establishing itself as the climax of the movement before ending as calmly as it opened.

In the second movement, a virtuosic “Allegro” takes over, a heroic melody presents itself, and a tango flirts with the listener before the first movement’s unison theme returns. Another section, reminiscent of Prokofiev, reignites the movement’s energy. Finally, the tango reappears, and the movement ends without resolving the tensions of the various themes employed.

The third movement opens with an energetic “Scherzando” before a more melodic theme emerges. One hears both Schubert and the tango in this section. Finally, the Bach theme reappears as the center of attention, although occasionally alternating with the Schubert theme. The piece ends, referencing the first movement, with the calm of the Bach song for his wife.

Passacaglia for Violin and Viola, after Handel
Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935)

Norwegian Johan Halvorsen began his musical studies on the violin, becoming one of Norway’s premiere violin virtuosi. Also successful as a conductor, he was appointed conductor of the new national theater in Oslo, a post he held for thirty years.

As a composer, Halvorsen was largely self-taught, except for lessons in counterpoint from Albert Brecker in Berlin. His work drew on the national Romantic tradition of Edvard Grieg and Johan Svendsen, but his style was also influenced by French Romantic composers.

Arranged for violin and viola, the Passacaglia is based on the melody of the final movement of George Frideric Handel’s Harpsichord Suite No. 7 in G Minor, HWV 432. The passacaglia is a dance-inspired piece, possibly of Spanish origin and especially popular during the Baroque period. It is characterized by a fixed melody and variations on the bass line or chord progressions.

Handel’s passacaglia melody is a short, four-measure pattern stated in the viola while the violin uses dotted rhythms in double stops above it. Halvorsen arranged a virtuoso set of variations on Handel’s melody that requires an exacting range of techniques. The spare resources of violin and viola require numerous double and triple stops, multi-note chords on each instrument, to create a full four-part harmony.

Suite Populaire Espagnole
for Viola and Piano
Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)

Born in Cádiz, de Falla was the son of an Andalusian father and Catalonian mother. He studied in Paris, where he was influenced by Debussy, Dukas, and Ravel. It was Grieg, however, who encouraged de Falla to base compositions on Spanish folk music.

The songs that make up this suite were originally written for voice and guitar. They became popular immediately, prompting noted violinist Paul Kochańsky to arrange them for viola and piano. In every version, the influence of Spanish folk sources, including Moorish music, is apparent in fast runs, filigreed ornamentation, and pizzicato plucking.

“El paño murano” (The Moorish Cloth) comes from the province of Murcia; the first four bars of the song reappeared in Three-Cornered Hat, a later work. The peaceful lament of “Asturiana” takes the listener to the north of Spain. The origin of “Canción” is uncertain but de Falla kept close to the original folk version. “Jota” is associated with Aragón and reflects the passion of the widely known Spanish song and dance form. “Nana” is a lullaby; its melody originated in India and was sung to de Falla as an infant by his mother. Of Andalusian origin, “Polo” reflects the world of flamenco or gypsies; the listener will identify aspects of flamenco style and rhythm.

Program Notes by Anne De Sutter