My mother never protested against these cold suppers, and would
often indeed arrange them on a couple of plates in pretty-looking
patterns as one might arrange flowers: nor in general did she ever show
herself unsympathetic with my musical proclivities, though she was
not very musical herself, in spite of her studying the piano with Maggie
and having once had a five-minute lesson from that lady's
famous husband, the buffoon-pianist Vladimir Pachmann.
. . .
Against the general background of Sunday afternoons at the Albert
Hall, of nightly proms at Langham Place, and, in a minor way, of
days at the White City, a few names stand out in the memory I have
to rely on, with no programmes to help me, for everything before
1915: namely Pachmann, Paderewski, Elena Gerhardt, Julia Culp,
Casals, Cortot-Thibaut-Casals, Ysaÿe, and Ysaÿe-and-Pugno.
Pachmann and Paderewski specially pleased me with their Chopin
(I remember vividly the former's 'feathery' pianissimo, as Harold
Schonberg [The Great Pianists, by Harold C. Schonberg, Gollancz, 1964]
justly describes it) and with divers externalities: Pachmann
with his familiar winks and idiotic mutterings and his antics at the
piano-stool, and Paderewski. . . .
The other pianists
I heard were undoubtedly greater than either Pachmann or Paderewski,
though for some reason or other they meant less to me: Godowsky,
Emil Sauer, Sapelnikoff, Moriz Rosenthal and, best of all, Teresa
Carrèno, so magisterial and yet so tender.