[This article first appeared in Musical Opinion
February 1933, page 405. The author, Professor Francesco Berger
(June 10th 1834 - April 25th 1933)
was 98 years old when he wrote this appreciation.
This web version is dated 3 December 2000,
revised 7 February 2006.
So dear old Vladimir has departed from our midst, leaving the
world poorer by one truly great artist. To us, his survivors, it is a
comfort to know that his life-work was not unrequited,—he died full of
earthly honour, and not without some other earthly advantages.
Among his merits, there was the very conspicuous one that
besides recognising and being able to interpret the spirit of whatever
music he was performing, he took the additional trouble of adding to
that spirit the highest possible technical finish. He might have
contented himself with giving us the spirit of a work plus wrong notes,
or the right notes only without the spirit. But his genius and will
power combined in rendering both, so that a Pachmann recital was not
only a musical treat but a moral lesson as well.
That his high artistic aspiration and gentle nature may in their
altered condition meet with their well deserved reward in eternal peace
and superhuman happiness, is the earnest wish of his thousands of