Berlioz's Orchestration Treatise: A Translation and Commentary

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Berlioz's Orchestration Treatise (1843) is a classic textbook by a master of the orchestra, which has not been available in English translation for over a century. This is a book by and about Berlioz, since it provides not only a new translation but also an extensive commentary on his text, dealing with the instruments of Berlioz's time and comparing his instruction with his practice. It is thus a study of the high craft of the most distinctive orchestrator of the nineteenth century.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"When I received the book, I confidently expected a good modern translation of this seminal work on orchestration and an informative commentary. My expectations were exceeded in both respects. A better translation and commentary than the present one can scarcely be imagined. Indeed, as far as commentary is concerned, this book is an essential reference tool for scholars of every nationality and for all performers of Berlioz's music." Journal of Musicological Research
Macdonald (music, Washington U., St. Louis) presents an English translation of Hector Berlioz's treatise on orchestration, which represents a resource for the understanding both of his music and of orchestral practice in the 19th century. The text is accompanied by Macdonald's commentary on the instruments of Berlioz's time and on what the scores reveal about his orchestral ideas. It also contains some of Berlioz's writings on instruments found in his and press articles. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Hugh Macdonald is Avis Blewett Professor of Music at Washington University, St Louis. He has been General Editor of the New Berlioz Edition since its inception in 1967. He has edited The Selected Letters of Berlioz (1995) and Volumes IV, V, VI, VII, and VIII of the Berlioz Correspondance générale (1992– ). He is also author of Skryabin (1978) and Berlioz (1982).
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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Preface; A note on the edition; A note on the translation; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; The Treatise; Introduction; 1. Bowed strings; 2. Plucked strings; 3. Strings with keyboard; 4. Wind: introduction; 5. Wind with reeds; 6. Wind without reeds; 7. Wind with keyboard; 8. Brass with mouthpiece; 9. Woodwind with mouthpiece; 10. Voices; 11. Pitched percussion; 12. Unpitched percussion; 13. New instruments; 14. The orchestra; 15. The conductor and his art; Appendix: Berlioz's writing on instruments; Bibliography; General index; Index of Berlioz's works.
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