[This article first appeared in The Musician
Vol. 20, November 1915, page 697.
The author, John Orth (1850-1932 (death date added 4 January 2016) ) studied with Liszt and others in the period
1870-1875 and was a piano pedagogue and composer,
living mainly in the Boston area.
Only the first four paragraphs are reproduced here because the remainder,
though instructive, does not mention de Pachmann.
This web version is dated 13 December 2000,
revised 4 Jan 2016.
PSYCHOLOGY is a rather formidable word, I know,
but it just means "the science of the human soul and its operations,"
and it's about the Soul of the piano and the Soul in piano playing
that I wish to talk a little with the readers of THE MUSICIAN.
To my mind, De Pachmann, with all his idiosyncrasies, is the ideal pianist.
Why? Because he does not try to turn his instrument into an orchestra by
forcing it beyond its natural boundaries.
There is a sense in which Chopin is the ideal composer for the pianoforte.
You see, Chopin never wrote for orchestra.
He seems never to have had the orchestral feeling or impulse, which,
for instance, so strongly dominated Beethoven in much of his work for the piano.
This, I believe, is why De Pachmann and Chopin mean so much to one another.
I don't believe any man who ever lived was more in love with his instrument
than De Pachmann.
And now if you want to know what I think,
I tell you right straight out that I believe that this love is
the underlying secret of his phenomenally beautiful playing.
He loves his instrument and so draws love from it in return, for,
as our Christian Science friends would say, "Love reflects Love."
There is too much physiological and too little psychological piano playing
or, in other words, so much attention is given to,
so much emphasis laid on the purely physical and muscular,
that the Soul does not have a chance.
"As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."
Yes, and so is his touch and his playing and his musical feeling
as he thinketh in his heart.
. . .