I have often thought that playing Bach chorales would be useful for a cello choir but the versions available were not cello-friendly. The advantages of playing chorales as part of a cello choir's repertoire are many, including learning about balance, blending and tone quality as well as intonation, ear-training and listening skills. Also, clear harmonic progressions draw attention to cadences and expressive long phrase lines. This second volume of chorales for cello choir is more difficult than the first volume. Each chorale uses the standard SATB choir voicing. The top part is in treble or tenor clef and is the most difficult because the pitch range places notes mostly in 5th, 6th, 7th and thumb position. The other three parts will be playable by students at an intermediate level. The 2nd part is in tenor clef or bass clef, with parts 3 and 4 entirely in bass clef. The keys have been carefully chosen with key signatures up to 3 sharps and four flats.
The music is printed as a four-part score so that players can see the other parts as they play. This also allows for cellists to alternate between the parts. In my own small cello choir, I found it useful for the whole group to play each part together as part of the learning process, and to gain confidence, before splitting into the ensemble parts. With a total of 25 chorales, each of one page (except one of two pages) there is plenty of music here for learning and enjoyment.
Cello Sheet, AUSTA National Journal Reviews Editor
by Anne Berry