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A World of Miracles: 12 Reflections on Childhood and Memory
for Violin and Piano

from A World of Miracles
There is a small but fascinating repertoire of music that is made up of pieces whose subject is childhood. Most of these pieces are miniatures and some have found favour with teachers and particularly diligent children. Schumann, of course, leads the way with his Kinderszenen, but there are other collections from composers as diverse as Dallapiccola and Nielsen. What the best of these pieces have in common is something that their music shares with the best of children’s literature: the ability to sustain the interest of the Young and the Old.
A World of Miracles pays an important debt to Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood, a debt acknowledged in the final movement. However, the scenes from childhood pictured within this work are those depicted by the author G.K.Chesterton in the second chapter of his Autobiography. The chapter is titled The Man with the Golden Key and is a kind of secular sermon on memory. His ‘text’ is his first childhood memory recounting a scene from his father’s toy theatre. With a nod to Schumann 12 paragraphs from The Man with the Golden Key have been selected each with titles from within the text itself.

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