Flute: An Autobiography
As one of the foremost flute players of his time, Richard Adeney has a wealth of stories to tell in this lovely book. This is a personal history of his time in a music profession, some aspects of which are unrecognisable now - "Please, please will you ask the conductor you're working for on Monday morning to let you off his rehearsal early so that you can do my session at Elstree at two o'clock?" is not currently a common situation. However, it's what hasn't changed that fascinates more. Any orchestral musician today can completely relate to tales of the hopeless, the nasty or the wonderful conductor or soloist, and tales of orchestral life almost unchanged by the passing of time. There are portraits of some of the most famous musical figures (Britten, Malcolm Arnold, Menuhin, Beechum to name but a few) and also an insight into how musical life was inevitably shaped by world events at a time of great turbulance and change. Some might be offended by the unashamedly gay side to the book, as Adeney describes this important part of his life which was at the time illegal. It should therefore be approached with caution. Nevertheless, this is a really good read - I can highly recommend it.