[The pianist reviewed first was Rafael Joseffy.]

Par 1 It was with one of his [Pachmann's] pupils that I went to hear Vladimir de Pachmann. "When you have heard him," he said, "you will have heard the best living player of Chopin, and you will have heard one of the men who make the history of art, an artist to his fingertips, vain as a woman, whimsical as a child, gifted as one of the sons of light." Although he no longer affects the long black hair and beard which once concealed his countenance and made him look like a Will H. Bradley illustration to a Stephen Crane poem, there is no mistaking the Russian pianist's vocation. He wears his hair brushed straight back now, very much à la Toby Rex, and his heavy body and broad, powerful shoulders look queer enough on the absurdly short legs which toddle them about. His feet are small and he is very vain of them. "But then," remarked the Pachmann pupil, "he is vain of everything; he is the vainest man I ever knew, and when I was with him I was almost as vain of him as he was of himself. One falls under the enchantment of the man and Pachmannism becomes a mystic cult, an intellectual religion, a new sort of theosophy. His pupils usually copy his walk, his gestures, I think I used even to wish I had his nose and his little slits of Tartar eyes. But listen!"
Par 2 He first played Weber's Sonata in A Flat, wishing, I suppose, to give a certificate of his general musicianship and his complete dominion over his instrument before he began to "specialize." But in that, as in his Chopin numbers, one noticed first his unexpectedness. He does not deign to play a number as you have heard it before. He has a technique full of tricks and wonderful feats of skill, full of tantalizing pauses and willful subordinations and smothered notes cut short so suddenly that he seems to have drawn them back into his fingers again. In his thin and bearded days he looked like a wizard of the Svengali type, and even now is not unlike the portly, comfortable magicians of the Eastern fairy tales. The magician resemblance keeps occurring to one as he plays. He is very much of a trickster, in spite of that fiery quality, that temperamental intensity. But it is an intellectual variety of trickery, a sort of impassioned sleight of hand. There is indeed a kind of bravado about the astonishing liberty he permits himself in the matter of phrasing, and when he did something particularly startling he would look down at his pupil and screw up his brows and wrinkle his nose and wink slyly with one of his little Tartar eyes, very much as Jack Horner must have done when he pulled out the plum and said, "What a great [good] boy am I."
Par 3 It was not until he began playing the third prelude of Chopin that the Pachmann pupil utterly collapsed and murmured, "The tone — the singing tone! His own tone!" And singing tones they were; living things that lived a glorious instant of life and died under his fingers, "trembling, passed in music out of sight." The Pachmann pupil assured me that no one else had ever been able to produce a tone just like that, and he remarked that that peculiar bird-like tone would die with Vladimir de Pachmann, and then he told me a funny story of this quaint Russian egotist. When he was in Pittsburgh on his last American tour, he was playing the Chopin Valse Brilliante [sic, usually Brillante], opus 34, to a crowd of musicians in a wholesale music store here. He played even better than usual, and when he had finished, he looked up and said with a sigh and a gesture of ineffable regret, "Ah, who will play like that when Pachmann is no more!" There were actually tears in his eyes, for he was overcome with the sense of the great loss which the world must some day suffer.