Based on his decades of experience conducting these works, Leonard Slatkin delves into eight of the most beloved orchestral pieces of the twentieth century and tackles problems conductors face before stepping onto the podium. These works are:
Each essay includes some history, what to understand before the first rehearsal, and an almost bar-by-bar guide to the pieces. It goes into what conductors need to know during the score study process, as well as in rehearsal and performance, to bring a work to life. Slatkin also shares many tricks of the trade aimed at making rehearsals as efficient as possible and includes engaging anecdotes useful for learning the works.
These essays will open up the world of score study to conductors, other musicians, and students interested in expanding their knowledge of these eight works.
Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin is music director laureate of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, directeur musical honoraire of the Orchestre National de Lyon, and conductor laureate of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He maintains a rigorous schedule of guest conducting and is active as a composer, author, and educator. A six-time Grammy winner, Slatkin is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and holds the rank of Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife, composer Cindy McTee.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Volume I
Claude Debussy: La Mer
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5
Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra
Igor Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)
George Gershwin: An American in Paris
Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring Suite
Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings
Benjamin Britten: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
“Indispensable, lucid, detailed, thorough and persuasive—Eight Symphonic Masterworks of the Twentieth Century is not so much a masterclass as an entire curriculum in the art of orchestral conducting. Composers can only pray for the transparency, temporal architecture, and force that Leonard Slatkin brings both to his interpretations on the podium as well as to the principles and techniques he articulates so eloquently here.”
"Reading this book is akin to watching a basketball game with Shaquille O'Neal. Gold-plated insights from a master of the field are delivered with charm and wit. Slatkin’s brilliant observations about these works widen one's understanding of the entire canon, making this book is essential reading."
“Leonard Slatkin is an excellent writer with clarity and substance. This book is a treasure for conductors, but anyone with a deep interest in these works will find each chapter fascinating. He not only deals with the specifics of conducting the works but also their history and general performance issues. Every serious conductor should read this and benefit from Slatkin’s tremendous experience and knowledge.”