9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Study of Orchestration [Book only] (Hardcover)
Though this book isn't "perfect", it runs through almost every single instrument one can expect to find in any modern day symphony orchestra.
Examples range from Bach and Handel to Penderecki, and although more weight is given to pre-1950 orchestral techniques, contemporary techniques and methods are mentioned throughout, with reference to every instrument - apart from perhaps the saxophone (probably due to its limited use in orchestral music before 1950), which could benefit from its own mention of multiphonics etc.
I unfortunately made the mistake of reading Rimsky-Korsakov's Principles of Orchestration before this, and was left perplexed by his explanations and examples as to how I was expected to orchestrate in any style other than his.
Adler's manual looks at all angles of orchestration discusses many of the problems encountered by the orchestrator and sets out flexible but valuable guiding principles of balance, weighting etc. and instils the right attitude for private study of orchestral repertoire on an individual basis.
Above all it takes into account the stylistic considerations of various different composers and emphasises the importance of individuality, and the need for familiarity with a particular composer's orchestral style when trying to imitate their work.