Reviews for Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra : Benjamin Britten's Composition on Cd

School Library Journal Reviews 1996 October
Gr 3-6 First impressions can be somewhat deceiving. This handsomely designed title features an inviting layout: boxed captions; crisp, full-color photographs; and compressed information presented in double-page spreads. Varying type sizes lead the eye from headings to descriptions. Frequent diagrams illustrate where each group of instruments is seated in the orchestra, and fascinating trivia bites will intrigue browsers without overwhelming them. Organization of information could not have been better orchestrated. The accompanying compact disc, Benjamin Britten's classic The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, sonorously narrated by Ben Kingsley, paired with The Sorcerer's Apprentice, makes this package almost irresistible. Unfortunately, the scope of the presentation is just too vast. While the author glances at instruments and music of the world and peeks at learning about running an orchestra, she doesn't give a complete enough picture of the generic orchestra. There are only two very small color photos of orchestras, and the gorgeous, large, detailed illustrations of the seven highlighted instruments lack labels. The inadequate glossary does not define the cor anglais, which is mentioned, but not pictured. Neil Ardley's Music (Knopf, 1989) has pictures and diagrams of more instruments and covers the world of music, including rock, but has no information about composers or the orchestra. Betty Lou English's You Can't Be Timid with a Trumpet (Lothrop, 1980; o.p.) provides a grand, personalized tour of instruments and musicians. Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO Copyright 1998 School Library Journal Reviews