2003, by José Antonio Bowen. "In this wide-ranging inside view of the history and practice of conducting, analysis and advice comes directly from working conductors, including Sir Charles Mackerras on opera, Bramwell Tovey on being an Artistic Director, Martyn Brabbins on modern music, Leon Botstein on programming and Vance George on choral conducting, and from those who work closely with conductors: a leading violinist describes working as a soloist with Stokowski, Ormandy and Barbirolli, while Solti and Abbado's studio producer explains orchestral recording, and one of the world's most powerful managers tells all. The book includes advice on how to conduct different types of groups (choral, opera, symphony, early music) and provides a substantial history of conducting as a study of national traditions. It is an unusually honest book about a secretive industry and managers, artistic directors, soloists, players and conductors openly discuss their different perspectives for the first time."
1997, by Gunther Schuller. "A world-renowned conductor and composer who has lead most of the major orchestras in North America and Europe, a talented musician who has played under the batons of such luminaries as Toscanini and Walter, and an esteemed arranger, scholar, author, and educator, Gunther Schuller is without doubt a major figure in the music world. Now, in The Compleat Conductor, Schuller has penned a highly provocative critique of modern conducting, one that is certain to stir controversy. Indeed, in these pages he castigates many of this century's most venerated conductors for using the podium to indulge their own interpretive idiosyncrasies rather than devote themselves to reproducing the composer's stated and often painstakingly detailed intentions. Contrary to the average concert-goer's notion (all too often shared by the musicians as well) that conducting is an easily learned skill, Schuller argues here that conducting is "the most demanding, musically all embracing, and complex" task in the field of music performance. Conducting demands profound musical sense, agonizing hours of study, and unbending integrity. Most important, a conductor's overriding concern must be to present a composer's work faithfully and accurately, scrupulously following the score including especially dynamics and tempo markings with utmost respect and care. Alas, Schuller finds, rare is the conductor who faithfully adheres to a composer's wishes. To document this, Schuller painstakingly compares hundreds of performances and recordings with the original scores of eight major compositions: Beethoven's fifth and seventh symphonies, Schumann's second (last movement only), Brahms's first and fourth, Tchaikovsky's sixth, Strauss's "Till Eulenspiegel" and Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloe, Second Suite." Illustrating his points with numerous musical examples, Schuller reveals exactly where conductors have done well and where they have mangled the composer's work. As he does so, he also illuminates the interpretive styles of many of our most celebrated conductors, offering pithy observations that range from blistering criticism of Leonard Bernstein ("one of the world's most histrionic and exhibitionist conductors") to effusive praise of Carlos Kleiber (who "is so unique, so remarkable, so outstanding that one can only describe him as a phenomenon"). Along the way, he debunks many of the music world's most enduring myths (such as the notion that most of Beethoven's metronome markings were "wrong" or "unplayable," or that Schumann was a poor orchestrator) and takes on the "cultish clan" of period instrument performers, observing that many of their claims are "totally spurious and chimeric." In his epilogue, Schuller sets forth clear guidelines for conductors that he believes will help steer them away from self indulgence towards the correct realization of great art. Courageous, eloquent, and brilliantly insightful, The Compleat Conductor throws down the gauntlet to conductors worldwide. It is a controversial book that the music world will be debating for many years to come."
Conducting Technique for Beginners and Professionals
1989, by Brock McElheran. "Conducting Technique has been accepted as a standard text for both choral and orchestral conducting courses taught at universities, colleges, and conservatories throughout the English-speaking world. For this revised edition the author has made a number of corrections and additions, includinga new preface."
1995, by Max Rudolf. "Provides a comprehensive introduction to the techniques and practical concerns of leading an orchestra. The text proceeds from basic conducting patterns to sophisticated explorations of performance and rehearsal techniques."
1990, by Hermann Scherchen. "The distinguished German conductor Hermann Scherchen, 1891-1966, became a legend in his own time as a supremely knowledgeable, inspiring, and uncompromising advocate of the most demanding orchestral repertoire. The founder of the Berlin Society of New Music, he was an ardent champion oftwentieth-century music, especially that of Schoenberg, with whom he worked, and of Webern. He settled in Switzerland in 1933 and was for six years the conductor of the Zurich Radio Orchestra. His classic handbook offers an admirably full and clear analysis of the technique of conducting, at thesame time giving a fascinating glimpse of orchestral life in Scherchen's time. First published in 1933, it has lost none of its ability to inspire and instruct aspiring conductors. It will be of absorbing interest, furthermore, to any musician or concert-goer."