Tuesday, July 29, 2014

12 November: Valerie Tryon, piano recital

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    Valerie Tryon played to Society members at Breinton on Saturday 12 November 2011

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    The very extensive programme included pieces by Scarlatti, Chopin, Mozart, Grieg and Liszt

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    Valerie was full of energy despite having only arrived from Canada the previous day

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    Valerie Tryon with Woking Concert Society's Chris Jeggo

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    Soirées at Breinton members enjoy the food and drinks provided during the interval

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    Valerie Tryon with Richmond Concert Society's Artistic Director, Howard Greenwood

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    Breinton Recital Society's President and Music Director

Review: Valerie Tryon

Valerie Tryon (biography) possesses an unbelievable capacity to store music in her brain; her repertoire of more than sixty concertos is enormous. Although she only landed at Heathrow on Thursday, she appeared to be unbelievably refreshed and more than ready to perform on Saturday night.  She arrived shortly before the recital, dressed for the occasion, with no music scores, and barely practiced (although she did at least check the piano!). Most surprisingly she did not even appear to know what she was playing until she took a look at the programme for the evening – it having been put together not by her, but by her manager, Howard Greenwood. And Howard had generously put together a fabulously long programme of Scarlatti, Mozart, Chopin, Grieg, Liszt and Grunfeld which was colourful, diverse and kept us entertained all evening. Each half was about 50 minutes; in normal concerts you would get something like 35 – 40 minutes each, maximum. We were so privileged!

The two Scarlatti Sonatas with their acrobatic and gymnastic elements, which Valerie seemed to play without much effort, were perfect warm up pieces. Everybody must have wondered how she managed to cross hands so quickly without pressing the wrong keys! Mozart Sonata in A followed and I particularly liked the second movement Andante cantabile con espressione. Literally, it was a slow and beautifully expressive piece with singing tones.

Next Chopin: Valerie played Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Scherzo No. 3 in C# Minor, and Polonaise in A Flat Major. Chopin is a very popular composer at Breinton, and this Ballade and this Polonaise have been played by three different pianists. Each musician had their own interpretation and I’ve loved them all. Ballade No. 4, my all time favourite, was wonderful. As I wrote in my review of Evelyne Berezovsky’s recital two years ago, this ballade was described by the late John Ogdon as “the most exalted, intense and sublimely powerful of all Chopin’s compositions... It is unbelievable that it lasts only twelve minutes, for it contains the experience of a lifetime”. Indeed it was a life: full of sorrow, pain, dream, anger.


Read more: Review: Valerie Tryon

Valerie Tryon's Biography


Now living in Canada, Valerie Tryon’s career as a concert pianist began while she was still a child. Before she was just twelve years old, she had broadcast for the BBC and was appearing regularly before the public on the concert platform. She was one of the youngest students ever to be admitted to the Royal Academy of Music where she received the highest award in piano playing and a bursary which took her to Paris for study with Jacques Février.

Her place among Britain’s acknowledged artists was assured when a Cheltenham Festival recital brought her the enthusiastic acclaim of the country's foremost critics.

Since then she has played in most of the major concert halls and appeared with many of the leading orchestras and conductors in Britain. Her career has latterly taken her to North America where she has appeared in such cities as Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Washington, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She now lives in Canada where she is the Artist-in-Residence at McMaster University, but spends a part of each year in her native Britain.

Read more: Valerie Tryon's Biography

Valerie Tryon's CDs



Valerie Tryon's programme at Breinton


  1. Sonata in D major K29 - Scarlatti
  2. Sonata in C major K159 - Scarlatti
  3. Sonata in A minor K310 - Mozart
  4. Ballade No 4 in F minor - Chopin
    Scherzo No 3 in C sharp minor - Chopin
    Polonaise in A flat Op 53 - Chopin
  5. Dance of the Trolls - Grieg
    Nocturne - Grieg
    The Shepherd Boy - Grieg
    Wedding Day at Troldhaugen - Grieg
  6. Venezia e Napoli - Liszt
  7. Soirees de Vienne - Grunfeld

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