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Something old, something new

The second movement of Prokofiev's Second Violin Concerto gives me tremendous uplift and faith in standards of beauty that haven't been shattered by modern intellectualism. I have a very ancient recording by Heifetz which is absolutely superb.

When I first heard it, which I think was at the end of the War, I went mad and played it over and over again. It is such a fabulously complicated piece it is difficult to remember but once you've got it in your head you can't get rid of it. Although I know what's coming, I still find something new in it each time I hear it.

I used to collect records a lot but I don't now because I haven't the room to store them and they keep changing from tapes to CDs but I have had several recordings of this particular piece. It is music that makes me feel serene. It's vaulting, a sort of cantabile piece not unlike Romeo and Juliet and it has a wonderful soaring quality. When I listen to it, it makes me feel that life is worth living.

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