The best way to develop ensemble musicianship is through the thoughtful exploration and performance of great literature. In this spirit, Dr. Peter Folliard presents The Bach Initiative, a collection of twenty-six wonderful Bach chorales for instrumental ensembles of any type, size, or level.
The Bach Initiative includes each chorale in its original four-part harmonization for all members of the ensemble, giving instrumentalists the unique yet important opportunity to see the full score—and to better understand how each part interacts with the whole. As a result, players naturally develop greater awareness, sensitivity, and intuition.
The chorales are intentionally transcribed for flexibility, so any individual may play any part at any time. And while the pedagogical applications are virtually endless, Folliard provides more than a dozen creative variations for rehearsing these chorales that are certain to enhance multiple aspects of ensemble musicianship.
The Bach Initiative also offers pedagogical information, including insightful scholarship about intonation, instrument ranges, and appropriate articulation. Folliard also provides a succinct discussion of chord analysis, non-chord tones, and voice leading.
The undisputed quality and relative brevity of the Bach chorales make them perfect for the rehearsal room and the concert hall. And the convenient and creative way in which they are presented in The Bach Initiative is certain to inspire new levels of musicianship in bands, orchestras, and other instrumental ensembles of all levels.
Check out this video of the wind ensemble at The Copland School of Music at Queens College reading a chorale from The Bach Initiative without a conductor.