p.150 Par 1 The only other recollection that comes to me as suitable for these memoirs is a performance by Vladimir von Pachmann, the eccentric if not actually rather mad Russian-born pianist whom I heard at Oxford, though when I cannot recall [NN: Hope studied at Oxford 1919-1931]. Pachmann usually had a keeper with him at his concerts as it was p.151 rumoured that he was liable to fits of rage in which he became violent. The keeper of course lurked off stage but on this occasion he appeared. One of the signs that Pachmann, if not mad, was a bit 'touched' was that he had the habit of talking to his audience while playing. For a large part of his life he played almost nothing but Chopin but he played it in a way that was not only learned but extraordinarily effective in his rendering.
Par 2 He came on the stage smiling and talking to his audience. Sometimes if he didn't like the look of them he would refuse to play and this was when the keeper was needed.
Par 3 On this occasion it was an in-between event. After playing for a while he suddenly stopped and announced that he could not go on. 'Something is wrong in this audience', he announced. 'Something that is against me!' Then he looked at one elderly woman sitting in the front row. 'You, you are simpatica', he said, 'I will play for you alone. Will you come up here and sit beside me while I play?' It was at this point that the 'keeper' appeared in the wings. First he talked to Pachmann. Then shook his head and came down to the audience to talk to the lady in the front seat, who was plainly terrified at what confronted her. He prevailed and she was led up to the stage where Pachmann, beaming, holding both her hands, seated her by himself. 'I play only for you', he said. He took up the Chopin Prelude he had broken off and continued his exposition with wonderful grace and insight and then suddenly he stopped. Turning to his 'confidant' he said: 'That is so beautiful a passage, that I shall play it again. Listen and see if you do not agree.' She nodded and from that moment on we all had the most wonderful interpretation that we had ever listened to. What the unknown and quite inoffensive lady who had to endure this choice between an agonising experience and a violent explosion of violence [sic — surprisingly careless writing or proof-reading by the poet A. D. Hope], must have gone through I have no idea. But I would not have missed it for anything. The Chopin was superb!