Magazine article Musical Opinion

Flute by Richard Adeney

Magazine article Musical Opinion

Flute by Richard Adeney

Article excerpt

Flute by Richard Adeney Brimstone Press PO Box 1134, Shaftesbury, SP7 8XN 222pp £12:50 Free P&P ISBN- 978-1-906385-20-0

If the performance is routine, perhaps I with a duff conductor, sometimes a solo by one of the players will lift things onto another plane, the orchestra suddenly slips from the routine to the sublime, the spirits soar, and life climbs up a notch.

In World War Two I worked in a humble capacity for the London Philharmonic Orchestra and went to many of their concerts in and around London. There were two players in the LPO at that time who regularly were able to lift the orchestra up by its boot straps and lodge us in heaven, maybe for the rest of the evening. One was the first trumpeter, Malcolm Arnold, before he became known as a composer; the other was the first flute, Richard Adeney. They were both in their twenties, replacing older men who had gone off to fight.

Richard was handsome, an introvert, unlike Malcolm who was as extrovert as it is possible to be. But the sound Adeney made, the nuances he effected, the quality of his musicianship was magical; he could put a spell on us all.

Richard played a decade with the LPO, went freelance for a decade, playing often with the Melos Ensemble. His recording with the group of the Debussy Sonata for flute, viola and harp is still deeply satisfying - with two great players: Cecil Aronowitz and the harpist Osian Ellis. Then came the years with the English Chamber Orchestra, complete Mozart piano concertos - first with Daniel Barenboim and later with Murray Perahia. In between came years directed by Benjamin Britten; operas, concerts and - without a conductor - the three church parables where the players dressed as monks. Came his sixties and Richard packed up his flutes and sold them, exchanging them for cameras, turning himself into a perceptive and brilliant photographer; he and his exhibitions and some of his work is seen in this book. …

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