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am 10. Mai 2000
I own five orchestration books (the Rimski-Korsakov, the Berlioz-Strauss, the Kent Kennon, the Forsyth, and this) and am familiar with four others (of which the only one worth mentioning is "Thinking for Orchestra" by Rene Lebovitz [sp?]). With the possible exception of the Forsyth (which is much more fun to read at least), I consider this the best and most practicable of them.
I'm actually writing to warn you, however. I bought my copy at a book store, and when I'd got it home I noticed that eight pairs of facing pages (in "The Bassoon" and "Brass Instruments" chapters) were blank. So do buy this, but hang on to your receipt until you've checked it thoroughly--and Norton: work on quality control; cease to hire the incompetent.
Oh, one more thing: the back flap advertises Mark Devoto's sabotage of Walter Piston's formerly excellent, now ruined, "Harmony". Ignore it.
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am 15. April 1998
This is it, the reference work you should have bought back in college when you first studied orchestration. It's comprehensive and comprehensible, thoroughly elaborating on the strengths and weaknesses (in all registers) of the standard orchestral palette. A bit lacking in imagination and inventiveness -- but, hey, it's a reference work...
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am 23. November 1999
The prose here is more stylish and accomplished than in most music theory textbooks, and the advice offered is to the point, compelling, and original. I also recommend Cecil Forsyth's "Orchestration", Walter Piston's "Counterpoint", and Jeff Burns's "Pentatonic Scales for the Jazz Rock Keyboardist".
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