I was just wondering if there are certain qualities that makes a good piano accompanist for violin musicians? Can two musicians who just met be able to deliver a good music or do they need to establish a certain kind of relationship or rapport and understanding of the piece for them to be able to perform the music/song well? Thanks.
being an accomplished musician.
being a good reader.
being a good listener.
being a good interpreter of body language.
being capable of 'going with the flow'.
being capable of playing as part of a team, rather than an individual.
Just some attributes of a player being successful playing with others. Particuarly someone whom they haven't met or played with previously.
It does happen at gigs where deps are used. A good dep will have the above qualities as a minimum. As long as any egos are not allowed to intrude - from either side - the gigs go successfully.
Of course, once a rapport is established, the players will complement each other even better. Some players need that 'rehearsal time' to establish a closer musical relationship. The times I've sat in with complete strangers, and the music has worked like magic, as if we'd all played together for years, are the best times to be had!
You need musical rapport. It can come very quickly, or not at all. Sometimes one participant can feel a performance had enormous rapport, the other can feel they were railroaded!
Yes, there are particular skills useful to a professional accompanist. Transposition at sight WILL be required, but it shouldn't be in a performance. When a singer hands me music in the wrong key my position is 'Yes, I can transpose. But would you rather I used all my brain in playing WELL, or half of it in transposing? Of course, with experience, there will be many items in your particular field of music that are so familiar that playing in any key is a trivial problem. I'm thinking of theatre auditions. If a singer has mislaid their music, it's fine to say 'Can you manage Over the Rainbow in A? (Or any other key.) But it's NOT fine to hand me a Jason Robert Brown song and ask for it down a third :-)
The best basic of making music together (apart of practice skills) is love, empathy and (self-)respect, staying modest and no leadership aspiration. When needed the leader function can be shared by job rotation.
(Almost always in a pair situation there is a difference of hierarchy or competence but it is good when this role can be exchanged by deceiving the functions: soloist - accompanist.)
It takes a lot of different skills. Probably the best accompanist I ever encountered was the assistant organist at Holy Name Cathedral who, when I auditioned for the choir, took a piece of sheet music I had cobbled together from memory which didn't include a full accompaniment (just the melody and no chords for the first two lines) and knowing nothing more that it was Massenet and one of the missing chords from the melody-only section which I remembered, sight-improvised a perfect accompaniment for me.
I'm a slightly better than mediocre piano player but I ended up playing piano for a church gig for a few months—when I was gone one week for vacation, the teenage cantor's mother subbed for me. Despite being an arguably better piano player and having more access to her daughter, she found it really difficult to be able to handle the go with the flow aspects of accompanying her daughter as she sang.
Overall, I'd say that the most important skill is the ability to listen and react in real time while playing. It's not always correlated with musical skill, although at least some musical skill is essential.
You can't go wrong by listening to this recording of "The Unashamed Accompanist" by the great Gerald Moore:
And then, I would find his books (listed in the Wikipedia article I linked) and wear them out.
Moore was every bit as great a teacher as he was an accompanist.