[This excerpt appeared in the book Talking of Music
, London, Collins, 1957,
page 125. The author is Neville Cardus (1889-1975).
This web version is dated 12 December 2008, revised 29 March 2016.
From chapter on "Chopin and Pianists"
by Neville Cardus
I cannot recall Paderewski's Chopin, but Pachmann
played Chopin as nobody else since, in the Waltzes and the
Nocturnes; for the larger and stronger Chopin forms he
needed a weightier and more significantly pointed harmony.
His tone moved light as thistledown; his interpretations
were miniature and gem-like. For all his eccentricities of
personal behaviour on the piano stool (which I am told he
reserved for English audiences), he was a purist of the
instrument. "If I played like the rest," he said, "I'd
never play at all." Now and again Pachmann's loving
preoccupation with melody in Chopin reminded us of Wagner's
gibe that Chopin was a composer for the right hand.
Wagner, I take it, never heard the Études, and in any case
he would naturally enough find his musical imagination
drawn to the Bellini influences in the Nocturnes, which had
at least something to do with the melodic rise and fall in