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Books

Portrait of a Guardian music critic

In Portrait Gallery, Edward Greenfield remembers the characters he met in his days as a classical music reviewer — revealing his own character in the process

8 February 2014

9:00 AM

8 February 2014

9:00 AM

Portrait Gallery: A Life in Classical Music Edward Greenfield

Elliott & Thompson, pp.306, 16.99, ISBN: 9781909653580

We critics seldom write our memoirs, perhaps because we skulk away our lives in dark corners, avoiding the public gaze, plying our shameful trade like streetwalkers or pushers of hard drugs. We might occasionally, in desperation, recycle our ephemera between hard covers. Edward Greenfield, the former record and music critic of the Guardian, has daringly come out, in a volume of reminiscences that carefully avoids the title memoir (about oneself) and instead labels itself as portraits (about other people).

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Stephen Walsh is the author of Mussorgsky and his Circle and has been a music critic at the Times, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times and Observer. Available from the Spectator Bookshop, £14.99, Tel: 08430 600033

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