Born: July 27th, 1848
Dying: January 6th, 1933

p.29 Par 1 What was the secret of Pachmann's hold on his public? Before I try to tell you what I believe, let me first ask you to which of the two classes that made up Pachmann's audience did you belong? Were you one of that great majority who came to listen for the sheer beauty of his delicate and wonderful tone colouring, and because you loved the winsome personality of this great, little man? Or did you belong to that other class of those who came as to a circus to see the fun?
Par 2 If you belonged to the first class you were "one of us"; you were drawn by an irresistible attraction; you laughed with him and not at him. When he told you that he played that wonderful passage in thirds beautifully, you agreed with him, and in fact were just as happy as he, because it "came off" successfully. When he complained of that wretched top light in the hall, which reflected on the piano keys, you felt as annoyed as he did, and vowed vengeance on the man who invented such a system of lighting.
Par 3 If however, you belonged to that other class, you could not have remained in it for long, for sooner or later you must have succumbed to the charm of a perfectly natural and singularly lovable personality. Huneker, the American critic, called Pachmann the "Chopinzee," when he first saw him, but later became a most ardent admirer.
Par 4 Pachmann was not mad; he was a genuine child of nature. He was modest, but had no false modesty. He took you into his confidence from the moment he appeared on the platform. He looked over the huge audience, many of whom were on their feet endeavouring to obtain a better view, and if you were fortunate enough to p.30 be in the front of the house, you would hear him thanking you for coming, and for the wonderful ovation you were giving him. He would tell you what a beautiful composition he was going to play, and how many hundreds of times he had practised it. When he had played it to his own satisfaction, you would hear him say: "Bravo, Pachmann!". And you shared with him his joy. He was quite as ready to condemn himself, if it did not go to his liking. How many of us who have to face an audience would dare reveal as much? His very genuine love of his public, and his faith in their love for him, was the all-important thing in his life.
Par 5 When I had the good fortune, some years ago (in Berlin), to have lessons from this great artist, he always stressed the point of playing to the man in the back row of the gallery. In a certain Nocturne, where the theme enters pianissimo, I was made to play the first bars again and again, until the tone-quality, though of great delicacy, still penetrated to that man at the back of the hall.
Par 6 Pachmann may have talked to those in the stalls, but his mind was ever with his man in the gallery, and this all-embracing sympathy was the great secret of his personal magnetism. It charged the air with an electric current, which reached to us one and all,—to some more and to others less,—according to our own capacity for receiving.