. . .
But it was on this visit that they
made their first acquaintance with Pachmann.
From 28th March, when Louise wrote in her diary,
"We met Pachmann. He gives a concert to-night",
many are the days on which his name is mentioned.
Sometimes it is the brief note of a visit, though more
often the note is followed by a remark on the pieces
he had played.
At the Doustes' house he would go through a
whole programme, often occupying the piano for two
hours by the clock; and Louise writes enthusiastically,
"He plays admirably. His style is correct and
pure; beautifully sonorous. I am enchanted."
Before April was over the pianist had become an
habitué of the little drawing-room at 10, rue Copernic.
By degrees the diary reads thus:
"Pachmann came to lunch, and then afterwards
played Polonaises, Ballades and Valses of Chopin;
Polacca of Weber; Fugue of Bach, etc. . . . That is
because the artist thoroughly enjoys good cooking.
And for the matter of that he has also discovered in
London his own pet restaurant 'where one dines well,'
in a small private hotel in Golden Square, kept by
Now Madame Douste's cuisine had a savoury odour,
and Pachmann was always so natural in all that he
did, so epressive in all his movements that it was
quite in the accepted order of things for so warm an
appreciator of good cooking, as soon as he had
greeted Mme. Douste, to find his way to the kitchen,
lift up the lids of the sausepans one by one, inhale
the aroma of their contents, and then, smiling gently,
go to the piano, and frequently surpass himself,
as witness the diary: "In a Sonata of Chopin and a
Nocturne of Liszt." One day it was the children's
turn to go to his house, where he wished them to hear
his pupil, Maggie Okey, whom he afterwards married,
and who by her second marriage became Mme. Labori,
the wife of the counsel of Dreyfus.
Between times Louise, with her orderly habits,
entered in her book, "I lent my three volumes of
Chopin to Pachmann." Then between two more
social engagements there is this surprise which will
certainly be shared by many of his admirers who have
followed this artist in his long career:
"Pachmann lunched with us and spent the afternoon
at the piano. Having found Jeanne's violin he
surprised us greatly by playing it; and really he plays
that as well as he does the piano!"
. . .
Pachmann, who they found had become
"very affected" at his concert; . . .
. . .
On the other hand, they always sent special invitations
to those who, from their position in the world
of music or from the interest which they showed
towards artists, could be of help to the débutants,
whom they never failed to introduce afterwards to
such influential people.
At one of these "Mondays" , towards the end of
the afternoon, one of the pupils brought Pachmann.
The celebrated pianist found himself quickly
surrounded by a circle of young girls who, making a
great fuss of him, edged him to the piano. Without
needing further persuasion and smiling at the fresh
young faces all round him, he talked with much
gesticulation, explained and played Chopin's music
ungrudgingly regardless of the passing hours, to the
great joy of the young audience clustered about him.
. . .