Eight year-old Russian girl plays Schoenberg serial work from memory

He once said that milkmen would whistle his tunes. This is almost a prophecy fulfilled.

The girl’s name is Varvara Soyfer. Bookmark it.

I’ve checked further down her list of videos. She also plays Krenek and Roslavets. This girl has a very adventurous teacher.

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  • A long time ago a music lecturer taking a dictation class when I was an undergrad, told us about a colleague of his who had been able to write Schoenberg down from dictation, the way most of us managed with single-lines of Haydn. When asked how she did it, she replied “tonic-sol-fa”.

    This is nevertheless an amazing achievement – but the really impressive thing is not that she can do it (wonderful though that is), but that she wants to.

    • “This is nevertheless an amazing achievement – but the really impressive thing is not that she can do it (wonderful though that is), but that she wants to.” And one is left to only wonder why?

  • Impressive indeed. Without wanting to minimise this considerable achievement, we need to keep in mind that what would be a feat of memory for an adult is not necessarily so for a talented child. This seems to have been recorded in a studio – the acid test would be if she could do this in front of a live audience.

  • Dear Varvara,

    Bravi to you and your wonderful teacher! Not only you are playing this very sophisticated music by memory (which is an accomplishment in itself!), but you are playing it with wonderful fluidity, musicality and pleasure. And it is a pleasure to listen to you. Congratulations!

  • Just in case you want to know more about the little girl:
    “Varvara Soyfer was born in Russia 9 years ago, but she lives in Costa Rica since 2007.”
    She said her favorite composer is Wagner.

    http://youtu.be/O9MNSeS_zQE

    That’s right. She even speaks Spanish.

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