Par 1 When de Pachmann came back to America for his last tour, his friends all noticed a peculiar ease and velvet-like finish to his playing and also a force somewhat astonishing in comparison with his previous performances. The marvellous effortless ease with which he played certain running passages — passages which, despite their resonance, seemed to rain out of a hand that was scarcely moving, astonished everybody. Knowing de Pachmann's eccentricities and also the fact that he had been absent from the concert stage for some years, his friends thought that he had hit upon some new method or evolved some secret system. They asked him frankly for the secret of his progress — progress made in the baffling matter of piano technic at the age of sixty-four. De Pachmann smiled and answered:
Par 2 "Secret? My secret is I work like de devil eight hours a day at practice until I get it right."
Par 3 Those who heard him at work said that twelve or fourteen hours a day would have been nearer the truth.