From My Book of Melodies
Alma Deutscher is an extraordinary talent. Born in 2005, she had already composed a piano sonata by the age of six, an opera by seven, and a full-scale violin concerto by nine. Musical ideas have been percolating in Deutscher’s mind since 2009, and in this touching album she brings several of them to life in mostly brand-new, sophisticated piano works. The opening variations, for instance, are based on a melody she improvised at just four, while the beautiful impromptu “The Chase” incorporates a tune dreamt up at 11. The final set of waltzes, ingeniously and wittily incorporating police sirens, was composed by the 14-year-old Alma, who plays every piece here with the maturity of a fully fledged concert pianist. It’s all pretty jaw-dropping.