Alma Deutscher

Hey I wonder what you think of her Music and about her in general.

I am kind of fascinated and delighted. Can it be that the secret behind her are solely her parents and education or is she really some kind of exceptionally genius?

https://youtube.com/watch?v=7yf_pbVvIWk

https://youtube.com/watch?v=kURlp17F1wo

And if you have a bit more time here is a docu about her and composing her opera „Cinderella“.

Really interesting how she corrects the orchestra on details and seems to be in her absolute natural element.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=19WORtE3xuM

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  • Or maybe this is going to become a nice example of self fulfilling prophecy;)

  • "Of course, I love Mozart and I would have loved him to be my teacher. But I think I would prefer to be the first Alma than to be the second Mozart.“

     The 2nd Mozart ???...big shoes to fill even as runner up! What, no Beethoven, not even early Beethoven? no Monteverdi or Palestrina?..at least Bach has a chance. I hope she hasn't stagnated already!

    It's  good that she wants to be herself mind you, and good that her parents are exposing her to other music. I wonder if they have played her anything from the 20th/21stC.

  • "It's good that she wants to be herself mind you, and good that her parents are exposing her to other music. I wonder if they have played her anything from the 20th/21stC."

    The more I delve into it the more I get the impression that she is getting shielded from the real world by her parents and lives in some kind of perfect fairy tale world where she is the star & gifted princess.

  • The more I delve into it the more I get the impression that she is getting shielded from the real world by her parents and lives in some kind of perfect fairy tale world where she is the star & gifted princess.

    Well if that is so Timo, let's hope her gift has its own ideas and imperatives that give her no choice in her development - a need that eventually sheds aping - or perhaps it has already gone as far as it wants to, I hope not.

  • I'm probably not alone in my thought that the phenomenon worth debating here is not this child and her talent, but rather... her audience. Large numbers of people buying plane tickets to attend her concerts at distant locations. Do they spend that kind of money to attend concerts of adult living composers? Probably not. What makes them desire the experience of a child prodigy? 

    In at least 2 instances in the last year, people have expressed here in the CF the feeling that "the best is in the past". I think that feeling is relatively widespread in western societies. The idea that classical music, and the European high culture in general, peaked in the past, and then vanished to become a sort of Atlantis submerged by aesthetic relativism. To those who feel this way, this little girl must appear like a ray of light reemerging from Atlantis to, in her innocence, state the obvious to the grownups who have become unable to recognize that what is "beautiful" or "uggly" is objective and should be as obvious as the emperor's nakedness. 

    This kid appears to be completely at ease, extremely motivated, and very happy. But we all know that what makes a kid happy is different from what makes a kid healthy and what provides conditions for a normal and full development. So I agree with the reservations that Julie and Mike have about what effect this all - in particular the spotlight and adulation - might have on her personal development. That aspect is concerning, but once more puts her in the spotlight. I think the spotlight should be turned onto her audience. They're the real phenomenon.

  • Huh! Now I'm curious, Dave. As an aside to this conversation, do you mind sharing what "the very best by (your) standards" was? And what's some of the best that's happening right now, to your taste?

  • I like your use of the term "contemporaries". I dislike time stamps in music. There's no expiration date.

    Some music transmits something more permanent and fundamental than the specifics of the time period when it was composed. 

    I'm listening to "The Best of Thomas Tallis" on youtube. I've got to admit I wasn't familiar with the chap's music...


  • That is some piece Dave, very beautiful, even with the 4 second reverb.

    I think Ray has summarised succinctly AD’s dilemma 


    Dave Dexter said: 

    Edward Bairstow was late 1800s-1900s but I think his grasp of the form, or more modern execution, surpasses even Tallis' in some way. Very different approach, more unexpected harmonies. Absolutely love the reprise of the opening bars at the end. That said, I think I just particularly love choral polyphony. I can't say it's the best, only that it is to me - the music of someone like Alma seems rather tinkly and insubstantial after listening to it. As does mine tbh :/

    You might know Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis", perhaps the most famous orchestral setting of the latter's work. William Byrd studied under Tallis and was also phenomenal. There's a whole cluster of composers in this idiom that I'm still fairly ignorant of.

  • Thanks so much, Dave, for the Bairstow performance. This is indeed powerful, moving music. I agree that Alma's ditherings sound tinkly and unsubstantial by comparison. I also agree with what Manfred said - we should perhaps be asking why the audience prefers unsubstantial! That's always been the case, so I don't even question it anymore, but just accept it as fact. The general public doesn't want to be challenged, and the Bairstow is perhaps too profound and deep for "easy listening". Sigh.

    I used to play piano at a small, music-oriented church. My flutist and I had perfected the Barber Canzone to play for part of the service. Later in the service the minister asked me to improvise for a few minutes while the congregation observed silence. Knowing my audience, I did some New Age type stuff - incredibly boring and meaningless to me, but easy on the listening palate. After church, some one came up to me in breathless ecstasy - "That music was SO beautiful!!!" she exclaimed. After several more superlatives from her, I said something like "Yes, that Barber piece for flute and piano is one of my favorites". "No, no, not that one!" She dismissed Barber's masterpiece with a shrug. "I mean the piece you played during the meditation." Whew. Given Barber vs New Age diddling around, she chose the later. There really is no accounting for tastes. ;-(



    By the way, Dave, your recent choral pieces - the one about the place your Dad used to go fishing and the one about leaving home and your parents are anything but insubstantial and tinkling. They are moving and profound, and to tell you the truth, I'd listen to those again before I'd do a second listening of the Bairstow. Sorry I don't remember the names of your recent choral pieces. I actually printed them both out, but who knows where I put the score? ;-)
    YouTube
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    "She's very lucky that people like it, but you can please others whilst pleasing yourself as a composer."

    True enough Dave, you can please both worlds for sure.  I think the problem comes when your learning outpaces the ears of the audience because then you have to make conscious choices about who you are as a serious (concert hall) composer.

    What you write can keep listeners engaged by utilising musical signifiers associated with the past. This connection to the canon of works can be anything from overt (AD) to tenuous, to non-existent and is a dominating issue for composers of serious music today. The choices you make determine to a certain extent your success with an audience. Too much stylistic anachronism is deemed irrelevant in serious contemporary music and so a serious composer faces creative decisions against a backdrop of angst about acceptance or communicative efficacy.

     As Julie has intimated, the immediacy of a common, simplified language - one that makes no demands - is preferred to anything that requires spirited ears with a sense of adventure, which is  another way of describing the impasse and gulf between modern serious music and the listener. 

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