The second volume of Sergey Prokofiev's recently uncovered Diaries covers the years 1915 to 1922. It describes in detail the genesis and the problematic path to performance of major works in his canon, and the life-changing experiences of living in war-torn and revolutionary Russia, and deciding to leave for the mythic America he had long dreamed of visiting. The Diaries chart the author's swings of fortune, the loneliness of the emigre, his encounters with a luminous range of personalities from music, theatre, art and literature, and the search for love and friendship, all cast in the burnished prose of a born master, not just of music, but of words.
Anthony Phillips learnt Russian in the 'Secret Classrooms' of National Service in the 1950s and later at Oxford. The language continued to play an important part during his later career in music administration, during which he became general manager of London's Royal Festival Hall. Story of a Friendship, his translation of Shostakovich's letters to Isaak Glikman, was published by Faber in 2000, and Anton Chekhov: A Life in Letters (with Rosamund Bartlett) by Penguin Classics in 2004. Sergey Prokofiew Diaries 1907-1914: Prodigious Youth was published by Faber in 2006 and was described by the New Statesman as an 'extraordinary achievement'.