Search - Frederic Chopin, Felix [1] Mendelssohn, Joachim Raff :: Pachmann: The Mythic Pianist, 1907-1927

Pachmann: The Mythic Pianist, 1907-1927
Frederic Chopin, Felix [1] Mendelssohn, Joachim Raff
Pachmann: The Mythic Pianist, 1907-1927
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Classical
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1


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CD Reviews

DePachmann-Mythic and Sublime Pianist
Stephen Papastephanou | Maryland, United States | 10/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wow!! What a sublime touch!! DePachmann strongly deserved his reputation. This is a superb and extremely important example of piano playing. This is what music is all about.
Having (seen and) heard the great pianist Ignace Tiegerman playing, I am fortunate to imagine how somebody would be able to play like this.
DePachmann's lightness and beauty of touch is beyond the comprehension and imagination of the younger generation of perfectionist pianists. It baffles the imagination.
The CD contains unique ideas of interpretation, that seem to have disappeared with the passing of this elegant group of pianists that date from the early 20th century, and include such giants as Vladimir DePachmann Ignace Tiegerman, and Mieczyslaw Horszowski.
In spite of the hiss (of very secondary importance) the unequaled lightness and beauty of DePachmann's touch come through very well. No serious Chopin student or lover of Chopin's music should be without this CD.
Another important addition to Arbiter's unique catalog of rare historic documents, that include many recordings of unequaled piano playing from a bygone era."
Pachmann Revealed
Stephen D. Haufe | Clinton, Iowa | 06/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

The Arbiter de paachman cd is a most valuable contribution, offering in one cd,with excellent sound, well -chosen examples of the art of a much maligned pianist. My view of de paachman has been changed.

Schonberg, in "The Great Pianists" notes, at page 313: "Listening to (his) records, is hard to conceive how he could ever have been taken seriously..." Going on, at page 317: "If (his) records are to taken as a guide--it is impossible to take him seriously," noting further,"...his weird and pathetic attempt to play the Godowsky parapharse of Chopin's Revolutionary Etude for the left hand alone."

Well,Schonberg couldn't be more wrong based on what I have heard here. (I'd be more inclined to take Liszt's word, as well as favorable comments by Bauer,Godowsky,Busoni,Rachmaninoff)

Tha Arbiter cd HAS the Godowsky-Chopin Revolutionary. To my ear, Paachman gets as many of the notes as any ( I also have the Hobson and Grante performances),and Paachman does a better job of carrying the melodic line.

An encyclopedia of the time refers to Paachman's nuance,tone,touch,feathery pianissimi,all of which are in abundance on this cd. One is not even aware keys are being touched as the sound simply seems to arise on its own from the instrument.The recording techniques of the day have a hard time catching all the painissimi levels.Paachman's playing brings much of the nuance and color and drama of Sauer,Rosenthal,or Friedman, with an additional touch of elegance,yet maintains line and tempi with little,if any, "romantic" excess or distortion. One is reminded of the young Artur Rubinstein,although Paachman's tone a bit richer, the music a bit more lovingly played. Whether he ever said so or not,I am convinced Rubinstein was influenced by what to my ears is a very "modern" approach to pianism, in general,Chopin in particular. Emotion does not distort line or rythym; in Chopin, the left-hand the rather more strcit time-keeper we might have expected from Paachman,while the right hand ,with restrained rubato, takes flight. I was not expecting such discipline in Paachman's playing.

Edward Steuermann,after hearing Paachman noted:" Despite the intoxication of color which our modern nerves long for,one must remember that it is for the most part one voice, in this art,which speaks to us,no, sings to us;the voice must not stray so far that from a lyic poem comes forth a drama."

Arthur Symons put it thus:" The pianoforte was once a ship with sails,beautiful in the wind;it is now a steamer,with loud propellers and blinding smoke.And it is not only the Busonis and the Mark Hambourgs who sacrifice beauty to noise,but every great executant,with the single exception of Pachmann..."

(The above quotes are taken from the excellent liner notes by Mark Mitchell,copyright 2001.)

Equally impressive is the technical ability revealed here. Chopin Nocturne Op.27,2#; the Godowsky-Chopin Revolutionary; the Op.10,#3 and #5,the 3rd Ballade,Op.25,#5, cant be faked.I find no shortcuts,i find no "pathetic" attempts,but remarkable performances especially in an age of no editing. The Raindrop Prelude is gorgeous;the famous Op.28,#24,if not the slam-bang rendering of most modern performances,is even more disturbing,malevolent in its color,nuance and restraint in his hands. The Mendelssohn Prelude Op.35/1,and the Liszt Polonaise #2 are taken head on with excellent results.

Mitchell suggests that Paachman's "reputation" may have had as much to do with the relief his colorful,atmospheric playing brought to audiences encumbered with Victorian morality as to any alledged "excess" in his palying, plausible given playing that sounds very "modern" to my ears.Whatever confluence of fact or fiction had leads to the prevailing view of Paachman,this cd provides a stark contrast, wonderful colorful,tasteful,imaginative playing,technically well-done, a time-machine which is a must.(1907-1925!!)
Feed your curiousity !
Josef Majaess | Halifax, NS CANADA | 05/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A historic treasure of a recording that gives the listener a glimpse into an era of artists who roamed among Liszt, Chopin, Brahms, and other greats of the time. They bring with them a history & style only spoken of in legends and books. Vladimir De Pachmann was a great pianist and a mystic at that. They're many stories about his eccentric tendancies such as talking to the audience during his performances, starting songs over when he made mistakes, etc. However don't be fooled, his musicianship reflects one of the greatest pianists to ever hit the ivory.

The liner notes are great!"