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Review Details

Realizing Thoroughbass Chorales in the Circle of J.S. Bach Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 - Derek Remeš

Realizing Thoroughbass Chorales in the Circle of J.S. Bach Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 - Derek Remeš

Product Review (submitted on August 22, 2019):
I'm someone who is much more familiar with Italian teaching on basso continuo. However, in teaching it to others, I've noticed that the (sometimes complete) lack of any indication of the upper parts can be a bridge too far for some students. To that end, it seems the extra voice you get in a chorale can really help to bridge the gap.

I was somewhat familiar with Remeš for some pamphlets he had made (which are great - check them out.) So when this book came along, I was pretty intrigued.

You can find the introduction online, so I won't talk about the contents of the book here. I can say that the quality of the work is excellent.

The basic layout is that each of the sections is first laid out alone, then followed by the same section again, this time with editorial commentary and realisations. I was a little skeptical of including realisations right next to the chorales, themselves, but in hindsight it's kind of nice having to flip all the way to the end just to check something.

In the second volume, the Sibley Chorale Book, there are no realisations, but there are some nice commentaries where they are needed. For instance, "The addition of 5 avoids an inner-voice leap of an augmented second from a-flat to b-natural in the next chord." on Chorale 82. Which is kind of good to have, if only to clarify the purpose of each harmonisation.

I had to take off a point for Price and Value (I don't really understand why they are seperate to begin with.) I know these sorts of things are basically limited, small print runs etc so it's pretty hard to make profit but geez, $100 is quite a bit. The shipping to Australia was also quite expensive (although the seller isn't responsible for that). I'm sure that the publisher is actually trying to make everything as cheap possible, but it still stung a bit.

Overall I would strongly recommend this if you are interested in the teaching and learning of counterpoint. It's very high-quality work in a high-quality product. Any price concerns will be overcome completely when you start playing and teaching from it. I really look forward to seeing how it settles into the overall counterpoint teaching ecosystem in the coming months and years.

Wayne Leupold Editions 8510 Triad Drive, Colfax, NC 27235, USA 800-765-3196