EDITORIAL NOTE: Clarence Lucas was born at Niagara, Canada, October 19, 1866.
. . . For many years he has resided near Paris and has devoted most of his
time to criticism. He has written for many of the foremost papers of the world
and has had a vast acquaintance among musicians of distinction.
. . . Josef Hofmann's hand is decidedly small.
The hand of Vladimir de Pachmann was of medium size.
Rosenthal's hand is only moderately large.
. . . And Mark Hambourg told me that very few technical studies were
necessary to develop a technic.
Another wonderful pianist, but of an earlier generation, told me the
opposite. I refer to the famous de Pachmann.
When I was a young harmony teacher in New York in 1892 I had
the opportunity of meeting de Pachmann for nearly two weeks at the
home of some musical friends. He was then in the heyday of his powers, and his
willingness to play kept him at the piano till the wee, small hours of the
morning. On one occasion he threw his arms over his head, describing an
immense circle, and said that the room would not contain all the technical
exercises and studies he had learned. Who is right, Hambourg or de Pachmann?
When I had the memorable experience of spending so much time with de Pachmann
forty years ago in New York, he called my attention to his economy of movement
nearly every time he played. His fingers sometimes made no more movement than
is required to rub a little dust off the finger tips with the thumb.
And yet I am not sure that de Pachmann gave any attention to the relaxed
condition of the arm muscles. He may have played in the correct way from the
very beginning and never discovered the wrong conditions which are so
disastrous to most students of piano playing.