The least important are not forbidden to dream of great things, and even modestly to aim at them, according to the measure of their abilities.

Liszt to Antal Augusz

Piano Accompanist and Repetiteur Master Training Course Description

The task of a repetiteur and of a piano accompanist is one of the most complex and far-reaching areas of musical activity. Long gone are the times when a composer conducted the orchestra playing the harpsichord, when he was at the same time coaching and accompanying soloists. Still, the need for good coaching and accompanying of singers and musicians never vanished, which led to the founding of the Department for Repetiteurs and Piano Accompanists. As the profession itself is a synonym for cooperation, so is the life of the Department defined by intensive co-work with students from the Departments for Singing, Classical Instruments and Conducting.

 

Professor in Charge

Miklós Harazdy

 

Goals

This master education doesn't have a previous bachelor programme. The transition from an instrumental soloist to an accompanist requires thus a careful preparation from both student and professor. The student should be well aware of the fact that the heart of his future profession will be musical cooperation in many different forms including not only technical, but also psychological and ethical aspects of musicianship. The roles to be played in musical life after finishing the studies are numerous: coaching singers, instrumentalists and choirs during preparations for concerts and competitions, accompanying during concerts, playing the orchestral continuo, etc.

Areas accented within the education

Developing sensitivity in reacting to the timbre of the voice of a singer or of the sound of an instrument, adjusting to the style and technical level of the soloist and to the concept of a conductor, improving reaction to changes in tempo, breathing and dynamics, coaching, sustaining high-level performing skills, developing the skill to react to unexpected situations, developing the (inner) hearing, etc. Lessons are held with a participation of fellow students (singers, instrumentalists, conductors).

 

Description of a selection of subjects

Coaching Opera Singers

Coaching and accompanying is the touchstone of communicating with various performers through music. Some of the aspects to be worked on are: regulating the way scores are being read (numeration of bars, etc.); translating technical expressions; harmonizing different editions of the same work; establishing a signal-system with the soloist (giving entry, etc.); taking care of the pronunciation and tempo; helping in memorizing problems.

Programme:

1. semester:

psychology and basic guidelines of coaching opera singers – principles of playing secco recitativo –

18th century Italian and German operas –– analysing Mozart's opera Don Giovanni

2. semester:

analysing da capo arias – 19th century Italian opera / style, specific ornaments and cadences of bel canto – analysing Verdi's opera Rigoletto – preparation for the final exam

3. semester:

analysing the relationship between content, structural form and directing – historical reality versus operatic reality – early 20th century Italian operas – analysis of Puccini's La Bohéme

4. semester:

the world of symbolistic operas – the history of Hungarian opera – analysis of Bartók's A kékszakállú herceg vára – summary of the previous semesters

 

Piano-accompanying and coaching practice

Held in cooperation with students who have one of the following as main subject: any instrument, singing, orchestral conducting, choir conducting. Classes are held according to the need of the students to be accompanied/coached, schedule should be discussed with their professors.

Goals:

Practicing accompanying/ coaching; getting to know the ways of creating a synthesis between a soloist and an accompanist; improving ability to cooperate with soloists, teachers, conductors, supporting concept of conductor during coaching; giving entry; psychological self-fulfilment, developing responsibility towards partner, giving support on stage, practicing stress-tolerance.

 

Sight-reading

Sight-reading represents together with transposing and improvising the counterpart of performing a thoroughly studied composition. They all require previous musical training, but also have a unique effect on how this training develops further.

Goals:

Among others: quick recognizing of harmonic and formal structures; making the first phase of learning a new composition easier; learning how to avoid monotonous practicing; developing musical tools for mastering unexpected situations on stage and helping the partner out; enrichment of stylistic knowledge; developing inner hearing.

 

Transposing

Goals:

Practicing the transposition of melodic lines written in C-clefs and extending this routine to all types of transposing; developing the transfer from visual to auditive and motoric perception of a given score.

Programme:

Playing scores notated in C-clefs; transposing two-part compositions and song-accompaniments; transposing figured bass.

 

Repertoire Knowledge

Goals:

Developing sensitivity for performing in different styles adjusting to the timbre of an instrumental or a vocal soloist; inspiring students to work creatively.

 

Stylistic studies

Preparing a less known opera of free choice for analysing and coaching.

 

Colloquiums

1. semester:

a) sight-reading: accompaniment of 2 songs and 2 instrumental compositions;
b) transposing (preparation time 10 minutes, with piano);
c) solo composition.

2. semester:

a) sight-reading: accompaniment of 1 song and 1 instrumental composition;
b) transposing (preparation time 10 minutes, with piano);
c) analysing-coaching;
d) performance of a composition previously studied with a partner (singer or instrumentalist).

3. semester:

a) and b) tasks same as listed above, but with 5 minutes preparation time;
c) playing a piano arrangement of a symphonic composition or of a ballet.

4. semester:

a) and b) tasks same as listed above, but without a piano;
c) analysing-coaching
d) playing the piano part of an orchestral score following a conductor (composition is chosen by a jury 2 month before the colloquium).