1. Rondino in E-Flat Major for Violin, Viola and Piano
Played by Alma Deutscher (violin), Itamar Ringel (viola), Sam Haywood (piano). The Rondino was written in February 2012, when Alma had just turned seven, and was originally for violin and piano. In May 2013, Alma revised it for a concert in Berlin, and created a richer texture by adding the viola. Alma plays on a 1/2 size violin kindly lent by the luthier Amnon Weinstein.
2-4. Piano sonata in E-flat major
I – Moderato (played by Sam Haywood, piano)
II – Fantasia (played by Alma Deutscher, piano)
III – Rondo (played by Alma Deutscher, piano)
The piano sonata was written by Alma over a period of five months from June to November 2011, when she was 6 years old. The movements were written in reverse order, the earliest being the Rondo, then came the Fantasia, and finally the Moderato. The opening theme of the Fantasia is a reworking of a short piece ‘about a frightening witch’ that Alma composed in February 2010, when she had just turned 5, as a birthday present for her grandmother.
5. Andante for violin and piano in G major
Played by Tatjana Roos (violin) and Sam Haywood (piano)
This is the earliest composition included in this album. It was written when Alma had just turned 6, in March-April 2011.
6. Sonata for viola and piano in C major
Played by Itamar Ringel (viola), Sam Haywood (piano).
I – Allegro
This is the latest piece in this album. Only the first movement of this sonata has been completed so far. The main themes in this movement, as in most of Alma’s pieces, come from melodies that have arisen in improvisation. This Sonata was originally conceived for cello, but was later arranged for viola.
Alma Deutscher was born in 2005 in England. She started playing the piano when she was two years old and the violin when she was three. When she was three and a half she started improvising simple melodies on the piano. Her attempts at composition started aged four, when she began composing arias for an opera about a pirate called ‘Don Alonzo’. This album contains a selection of her compositions from age six to eight. Other recent compositions include a string quartet, various opera arias, and a very short opera called ‘The Sweeper of Dreams’.
British pianist Sam Haywood has performed to critical acclaim all over the world. Alongside his busy solo and chamber music career, he is also a composer and Artistic Director of the Solent Music Festival. He has recorded for Sony and Hyperion and made the first ever album using Chopin’s own Pleyel piano of 1846. Following his early successes in the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition and winning the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Isserlis Award, Haywood studied with Schnabel-pupil Maria Curcio in London and Paul Badura-Skoda in Vienna. www.samhaywood.com
Violist Itamar Ringel is active as a chamber musician, soloist and teacher. He performed as soloist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, as principal viola in the opera house of Valencia, Spain, and is currently assistant to his former teacher and mentor, Prof. Tabea Zimmermann, at the Hochschule für Musik,”Hanns Eisler”, Berlin. His work is further inspired by his previous teachers Kim Kashkashian, Martha Katz and Lars Anders Tomter; composer György Ligeti, on whom he wrote his doctoral dissertation.
The fourth generation of a musical family, violinist Tatjana Roos was born in London. She studied with Igor Petrushevski at the Royal Academy of Music and later won entry to the Yehudi Menuhin School, studying with Natasha Boyarsky. Tatjana enjoyed success as soloist with orchestras in the UK, Singapore, Ukraine, Taiwan and China as well as chamber music recitals in France, Italy and the UK. In 2010, she won a first prize at the Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy. In 2012, aged 16, Tatjana moved to Vienna to continue her studies with Professor Boris Kuschnir.