This book is very clearly presented and richly illustrated examples commented is based first of all on a general approach to the score, distinguishing different types of writing, and the nature and characteristics of musical ideas. Then comes the study of the general framework of the work, tonal and formal plans. Then, the author highlights the main elements used in this language (harmony, phrasing, rhythm, music / text relationship), to conclude on the stylistic aspects of the score. We will particularly appreciate the pages he devotes to dialogue, rewriting, the different scales or the enlarged tonality, as well as his remarks concerning the initial momentum, the rhythmic flexibility or the expressive silences.
From the global approach to the detailed analysis, Anthony Girard has created here a handbook of great clarity, useful to both the musician and the musicology student.