Igor Stravinsky. France, 1928.

 




Lina and Serge Prokofiev. London, 1927

Over the course of today and yesterday we made our preparations for England. I practiced at the piano, changed money, picked up music from the publisher's and bought tickets. Although it's better value to get a return ticket, we decided to take singles as we plan to come back by plane. Miss Crein who called on us, said "You must fly - it's a marvellous sensation when you leave the ground and soar above it ; then you see how small all human beings crawling over it, are and how insignificant their earthly concerns".
   We bought tickets for the Imperial Airline. Ptashka has been wanting to fly for a long time. Before this trip, we had decided in Paris that perhaps we would fly but when we made up our minds to put our plan into action, people said, "Well, you go flying, but I wouldn't". At first I felt a slight nervousness but soon settled that with the help of Christian Science, and today I confidently got the tickets. The coach with the passengers from Paris came up shortly after. One fat, elderly lady, looking rather like a Russian landowner from the Urals, stepped boldly down from the coach - another lady, obviously suffering from dizziness was lifted out and put on a chair.
(Diary, 1927).

 

I was very interested in getting to know Stravinsky and I have increasingly grown to like his compositions, whereas two years ago I reacted to them almost with hostility - Diaghilev has been singing his praises with exceptional fervour. I remember him from quite a long time ago, nine years or so, when he turned up with some of Rimsky-Korsakov's other pupils at concert rehearsals. It was when I was just starting at the Conservatory. I next remember him in the spring of 1910 at an Apollo evening of new music, where I played my Sonata Op. 1 and Stravinsky played excerpts from Firebird, which I didn't like. It's possible that we were introduced that evening. Diaghilev even claims that I said something cheeky to Stravinsky, but I have absolutely no recollection of this. Be that as it may, we now meet as great friends. (Diary, 1915)
 

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