With two volumes of reflections on conducting the orchestral music of Beethoven already published, Norman Del Mar now embarks on the wider repertoire, beginning with Brahms, whose output forms the backbone of serious music study and concert programmes. Del Mar's own interpretations of Brahms have been hailed as sincere and thoughtful, and it is these attributes, together with Del Mar's strong sense of the music's architecture, which will be of value to interpreters. Del Mar writes on the four Symphonies, the Concertos, the Haydn Variations, and the Overtures and Serenades, offering descriptions of conducting styles and thoughts on orchestral bowing and rehearsal psychology. The book concludes by examining the background and text of a major choral work, this time the German Requiem.
'these beautifully written books are to be read in conjunction with the scores: Del Mar takes the reader meitculously through the works, bar by bar ... he is completely trustworthy ... For both the student conductor and those with more experience, the books are thought-provoking, stimulating and above all illuminating. They are also extremely practical. Norman Del Mar's own wide knowledge and experience of the repertoire shines through these instructive
pages. In the immediate aftermath of Norman Del Mar's death, it is hard not to read these marvellous books as part-autobiography. Thanks to the clarity of his descriptions, one can almost hear Del Mar's performances on the page. These chapters will remain as vital a musical legacy as any of his own
Jane Glover, BBC Music