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The Eloquent Conductor, Basic to Advanced Techniques


Director of Wind Studies at the University of Cincinnati

College-Conservatory of Music

Published by GIA Music $125.00

GIA Publications,Inc. 7404 South Mason Avenue Chicago, IL 60638

There is a statistic counter attached to my web, and while it never identifies any browsers who log on, it does often identify their interests; the pages on directing techniques, score study, improving the sound, warm ups and performance practice have been visited well over a thousand times since May.

But now Glenn Price in a superb two manual book on The Eloquent Conductor, Basic to Advanced Techniques makes my poor efforts seem almost ineffectual and redundant.

Glenn D. Price is a Canadian conductor who is the Director of Wind Studies at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. A former President of WASBE, He is the Artistic Director for the International Youth Wind Orchestra, conducts the IMC Concert Orchestra and serves as the Conductor for the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain. In addition to his appearances as a conductor, Dr. Price serves extensively as a prominent music educator, clinician, guest lecturer and speaker for a variety of professional organizations around the world.

Dr. Price has made a thorough pedagogical study of the art and craft of conducting and directing, and draws on his vast experience from studying and working in Canada, USA, Russia and Japan, synthesising all of these influences into a thoroughly clear and cogent method of teaching, tried and tested over many years. He has conducted world-wide, in Canada, North and South America, Europe and Australasia.

At $125 for the two volumes, this is incredible value. The Main Text has 224 pages with a DVD, the Repertoire Edition 338 pages with a repertoire CD of the 69 repertoire excerpts, the two volumes closely co-related. A quick précis of subject headings will give you an idea of the vast amount of material covered:

Chapter 1 Basic Patterns, 4,3,2

Chapter 2 Articulation Styles

Chapter 3 Style, Phrase, Melodic Rhythm, Dynamics, Left Hand

Chapter 4 Compound Metres, Travel, Secondary Point, to Point and From Point Motions

Chapter 5 Conducting the Phrase, Internal Rhythms, Specific Conducting Part 2

Chapter 6 Entrances on Other Full Beats, Fractional Beats, Cues

Chapter 7 Score Study, Interpretation, Transposition, Foreign Terms, Score Types

Chapter 8 Subdivision, Rallentando, Accelerando

Chapter 9 Conducting in 1, Combining Bars, Metres of 5,6,7 and 9, Asymetrical Metres,

Chapter 10 Conducting Regions, Resistance and Flow, Fermatas, Tenuto

Chapter 11 Dynamic and Agogic Accents, Rubato, Accompaniments, Marking Time

Chapter 12 Repertoire, Programming, Audience Rapport, Rehearsal Planning, Administration

The repertoire excerpts consist of a 4 part score in C, followed by four or more individual parts in Bb, Eb or F. The scope of the repertoire ranges from folk songs, chorales and hymn tunes, and includes Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Dvorak, Wagner, Verdi, Grieg, Ravel, Debussy and many others.

I suspect that these books will be most useful in a conducting class situation with an extended course of many weeks, but the material is so clearly laid out, that they would also be invaluable for a shorter clinic situation. Two things I miss, an index of topics and a bibliography, but this is mere carping and we are left marvelling at Glenn’s erudition and clarity of mind, and thankful that he has shared this with us so generously.

Tim Reynish July 2016