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Accompanying (Read 1201 times)

Offline chenwu

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Accompanying
« on: December 09, 2015, 06:33:22 PM »
How long does it take for you to play and accompany these pieces? Do you need a week notice or longer than that? For example they handed you the music today and the recital is next week, Saturday.

Here are the violin and piano.
1. Sonata no. 3 in F major, Handel
2. Obertass Mazurka, Stephanie Chase
3. Violin Concerto no. 1 in A minor, J.B Accolay
4. Sonata in G minor, H. Eccles
5. Sonata in E major, Handel

Thanks!

Offline visitor

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Re: Accompanying
«Reply #1 on: December 09, 2015, 06:54:39 PM »
i kindly hand the stack of music back (if they are new to me pieces i have not been practicing before) and remind them of my policy of not accepting collaborative piano projects unless I receive the music the same week as the solist, or about 12 weeks out, which ever is greater. Also I remind them that depending on difficulty, I limit total amount of music as more difficult pieces will limit total I am willing to accept.

stand your ground. if you accept on terms like these you will likely eventually crash and burn and they will 'blame the accompanist' not the thoughtful soloist or student's teacher.  you must stick to what you feel you can do and still play at both an acceptable standard (and your own).'

I was sick of people just thinking they can hand me a bunch of collaborative lit even if mid grade and expect a good outcome.  If it is a piece i felt i could pull off with a herculean effort, my rate would usually be triple my standard for the last minute nature and difficulty it created.

it's one reason i don't fuss w it anymore, i do it as personal enrichment project only now so i can be as selective as i want, heck at this point I'll even pay a good soloist to learn a piece so i can perform it as piano +1, if i like it enough.

Offline chenwu

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Re: Accompanying
«Reply #2 on: December 09, 2015, 08:00:12 PM »
Good point Visitor. I told our music director many times that I couldn't accompany them next week because I would need more time to practice and one week isn't enough for me. She expected me to learn them right away but I am not the best accompanist and sight-reader. She kept on telling me just practice practice practice..  :-[ This is really hard for me. If she told me a month ago I would probably be able to do it..


Offline michael_c

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Re: Accompanying
«Reply #3 on: December 09, 2015, 08:11:34 PM »
I'd have no problem with performing those pieces at a week's notice but then I'm a professional accompanist.

If you want to get good enough at this sort of stuff so that you can accept such things at short notice, the best way is to find partners who are ready to play through pieces with you in private, with both of you being more or less at the same level regarding sight-reading or how well you know the pieces. Also if you start accompanying regularly for a particular violin teacher you can learn the pieces parallel to the violinists.

By the way, Obertass Mazurka was composed by Wieniawski, not Stephanie Chase.

Offline quantum

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Re: Accompanying
«Reply #4 on: December 09, 2015, 11:00:34 PM »
If it is a reasonable workload, I would charge a bit more for late notice.  If it is clearly unreasonable workload or music that is too difficult to learn in a short time, I decline.  I'm open to taking on emergency gigs, as long as the music is doable with reasonable expectations and the collaborator is willing to pay a serious premium over my normal fee. 

There have been many times I've received a vague voicemail or e-mail of the following nature:

Soloist: My name is ____ my recital is next week.  I have three pieces, are you available?

Me: can you provide copies of the music?

Soloist: Here are the 12 pieces on my recital (about 50 pages of material).  There are another two pieces, but I'm not sure I want to sing them yet.  I could only find copies of 8 of the pieces, I'll send the rest later.  By the way two of my friends are doing a recital on the same day as me, can you accompany them too?  BTW, can we rehearse tomorrow at 2 pm?

Me: Here is my fee for the services requested ____

Soloist: Why you charge so much?  Can't I just pay you $20.  Since my friends recital is on the same day, the $20 should be able to cover the cost of it too. 

At this point I would decline. 


Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Accompanying
«Reply #5 on: December 13, 2015, 01:55:00 PM »
If it is a reasonable workload, I would charge a bit more for late notice.  If it is clearly unreasonable workload or music that is too difficult to learn in a short time, I decline.  I'm open to taking on emergency gigs, as long as the music is doable with reasonable expectations and the collaborator is willing to pay a serious premium over my normal fee. 

There have been many times I've received a vague voicemail or e-mail of the following nature:

Soloist: My name is ____ my recital is next week.  I have three pieces, are you available?

Me: can you provide copies of the music?

Soloist: Here are the 12 pieces on my recital (about 50 pages of material).  There are another two pieces, but I'm not sure I want to sing them yet.  I could only find copies of 8 of the pieces, I'll send the rest later.  By the way two of my friends are doing a recital on the same day as me, can you accompany them too?  BTW, can we rehearse tomorrow at 2 pm?

Me: Here is my fee for the services requested ____

Soloist: Why you charge so much?  Can't I just pay you $20.  Since my friends recital is on the same day, the $20 should be able to cover the cost of it too. 

At this point I would decline. 




hey...  that girl has emailed/called/txtd me too!

... same here... as soon as they ask "why do you charge so much?" is time to just respectfully end the call before you say something you will no doubt regret.  A serious soloist will pay... HAPPILY!--and honestly you don't want to play for those who aren't "serious" in spite of the cash they offer.

lol..  the vague voicemail, email, txt message...  you know right then it's probably not going to work out... serious solosits CALL or show up and talk to you directly.

Offline ronde_des_sylphes

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Re: Accompanying
«Reply #6 on: December 13, 2015, 02:13:21 PM »

There have been many times I've received a vague voicemail or e-mail of the following nature:

Soloist: My name is ____ my recital is next week.  I have three pieces, are you available?

Me: can you provide copies of the music?

Soloist: Here are the 12 pieces on my recital (about 50 pages of material).  There are another two pieces, but I'm not sure I want to sing them yet.  I could only find copies of 8 of the pieces, I'll send the rest later.  ****
By the way two of my friends are doing a recital on the same day as me, can you accompany them too?  BTW, can we rehearse tomorrow at 2 pm?

Me: Here is my fee for the services requested ____

Soloist: Why you charge so much?  Can't I just pay you $20.  Since my friends recital is on the same day, the $20 should be able to cover the cost of it too. 

At this point I would decline. 


You are very tolerant. The stars mark the point at which I would decide this is not only a test of my forbearance but also A VERY BAD IDEA (and whilst I'm certainly am not a professional accompanist I can sightread the vast majority of what's likely to get put in front of me in such a context).

Offline quantum

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Re: Accompanying
«Reply #7 on: December 14, 2015, 11:36:40 PM »
The soloists which I choose to collaborate with are given careful thought.  Sometimes it is not even necessary to decline, as questionable soloists are sometimes unable to get the scheduling, rehearsals, lessons, sheet music etc. in order. 

Good soloists have no problems paying a professional wage to an accompanist. 


I recall another scenario where the soloist didn't want even to talk to me over the phone.  He only wanted to deal in txt.


Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Accompanying
«Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 12:10:45 AM »
The soloists which I choose to collaborate with are given careful thought.  Sometimes it is not even necessary to decline, as questionable soloists are sometimes unable to get the scheduling, rehearsals, lessons, sheet music etc. in order.  

Good soloists have no problems paying a professional wage to an accompanist.  


I recall another scenario where the soloist didn't want even to talk to me over the phone.  He only wanted to deal in txt.




lol... oh yeah.. the unorganized soloist who can't get you the music... who wants hours of free rehearsal time... and who will no doubt try and blame you for their own lack of preparation... that's why it's best to just respectfully decline.

still can't get over the "why do you charge so much?" -- man that chaps my hide...lol..  basically she is saying:  shouldn't you just do this for free since it makes you so happy to play?  why do I have to pay you?  Mark my words: if you were to do it for free--and she found something wrong with your performance (whether perceived or actual)... she would bad-mouth the crap out of you.. seen it happen more than once.  Don't give it away...ever.


the texter -- not a good sign either.


I will restate again... a good soloist will HAPPILY pay a professional fee...  :)  we are all in 100% agreement on this string... lol. and that doesn't happen much...

Offline richard black

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Re: Accompanying
«Reply #9 on: December 24, 2015, 05:49:20 PM »
I don't know the Chase piece, but the others I would happily sight-read in a rehearsal the day before the gig, then practise overnight, then play in public. That's kind of typical if you're a jobbing accompanist. I mean, if I had the music more in advance I might enjoy practising it a bit more thoroughly but most baroque chamber music was written pretty much in the expectation of it being sight-read to the audience.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.