• Claude Debussy’s La Mer
• Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5
• Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra
• Igor Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)
• George Gershwin’s An American in Paris
• Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite
• Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings
• Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

Leonard Slatkin’s fourth book is aimed at budding and on-the-rise conductors, and also, I suggest, those who listen forensically. As such this tome will be an invaluable companion, analytically and invitingly written by a very experienced musician generously sharing his knowledge and wisdom as to the best ways to communicate intentions in these selected pieces to an orchestra (you’ll need published scores in conjunction with the author’s words). Armchair conductors needn’t hesitate either, for following through the script while listening to a recording could be rewarding, or things learned might be useful at unexpected times. I once conducted, years ago – at a CD launch of music by Harrison Birtwistle, when the wind quintet asked if somebody could get them started for a performance that would later in the evening be unconducted. Everybody looked at me. I stepped forward. I knew the piece (having written the booklet note, I already had the CD). “It’s all in 3/4”, advised the bassoonist. I recalled the diagram for this time signature in Sir Adrian’s conducting Handbook, searched my memory for the Birtwistle piece, somehow managed to set the correct tempo, the players entered together, and we got to the end without mishap. It felt great. But I digress. Mr Slatkin’s book is the centre of attention. It’s excellent, beautifully presented, and should be a boon to the people it’s aimed at, and also those curious about the preparation for a performance, the study and the rehearsal. I understand there will be follow-up publications.

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Pages: 204 • Trim: 6¼ x 9¼

978-1-5381-8679-4 • Hardback • March 2024 • $90.00 • (£69.00)

978-1-5381-8680-0 • Paperback • March 2024 • $34.00 • (£25.00)

978-1-5381-8681-7 • eBook • February 2024 • $32.00 • (£25.00)

Subjects: Music / Instruction & Study / ConductingMusic / Genres & Styles / ClassicalMusic / Reference

Concerto for Orchestra begins on track 15; original ending, track 21.

Detroit; 2016.

From complete recording.

From complete recording.