The Art of Accompanying and Coaching was first published in 1965. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Kurt Adler, former conductor and chorus master of the Metropolitan Opera, provides a comprehensive guide to musical accompanying and coaching, based in his extensive experience, which will be helpful, if not indispensable, to music teachers, students, coaches, accompanists, orchestral and choral conductors, and performing vocal and instrumental artists.
The first part of the book gives the historical and technical background of the subject and explains in detail the mechanics of string instruments, piano, celeste, organ, harmonium, and voice. The next section offers a thorough guide to the singing diction of five languages— Italian, Latin, French, German, and English. The author continues with a discussion of the elements of musical style, describing, with the use of ample musical illustrations, tempo, rhythm, dynamics, phrasing and articulation, and ornamentation. This section closes with an analysis of the German lied style and the French art song style.
Mr. Adler goes on to synthesize the various elements of accompanying and coaching. He stresses the importance of psychological and spiritual rapport between accompanists and artist and shows ways of achieving this. He explains the differences and similarities among opera, oratorio, and song coaching. In a section on program arranging, he offers advice about planning concerts of various kinds, citing examples of programs given by outstanding artists. He writes about particular aspects of accompanying — self accompanying, the difference between piano accompanying and soloistic piano playing, and accompanying for singers, instrumentalists, and dancers. In conclusion, he describes the qualities of an ideal accompanist and the rewards derived from excellence in performance.
University and college music departments, schools of music, choral groups, voice teachers, singers, pianists, and other musicians will find the book of inestimable value, either as a text or as a reference work. It will be especially helpful to pianists who aspire to become accompanists.