Take more than forty years of partnering celebrated soloists in concerts all over the world, and add almost thirty years of teaching the art of accompanying, and you have the qualifications for using such an audacious title as The Complete Collaborator. All the tools for understanding and executing first class collaborative piano are here. These are articulated as clearly for the curious novice as for the experienced professional. In addition, a significant number of the musical examples in this book have been recorded by Mr. Katz with two vocal partners, and they accompany each copy with password-protected streaming audio.
The obvious topics: breathing, languages, flexibility, creating a collaborative atmosphere are, of course, expected and are discussed at length. In addition, two very significant chapters deal with orchestral accompaniment, reflecting today’s requirements for any professional accompanist. Often neglected details such as beginning a piece together, telling stories with piano solos, tuning, and balance between the players are also covered herein.
The material is presented clearly and incisively, but always with the humor and wit for which Mr. Katz, the teacher of sold out masters classes, is known. Dubbed the “Dean of accompanists” by the Los Angeles Times, this volume more than justifies that title. Whether it be read by the curious novice, the amateur who wants to accompany as best he can, or the experienced professional seeking confirmation or a new look at the role of any partner, The Complete Collaborator is all one needs.