Vladimir de Pachmann: A Piano Virtuoso's Life and Art

Overview

Piano virtuoso Vladimir de Pachmann (1848-1933) is remembered today more often than not for the comic and sometimes bizarre on-stage behavior that earned him the epithet "Chopinzee." Yet during his years as a performer, Pachmann was regarded as one of the four or five greatest pianists in the world, and as the outstanding exponent of Chopin. Mark Mitchell's richly detailed biography — the first to be published — reconciles the personality with the playing by offering a thorough account of the pianist's life as ...

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Overview

Piano virtuoso Vladimir de Pachmann (1848-1933) is remembered today more often than not for the comic and sometimes bizarre on-stage behavior that earned him the epithet "Chopinzee." Yet during his years as a performer, Pachmann was regarded as one of the four or five greatest pianists in the world, and as the outstanding exponent of Chopin. Mark Mitchell's richly detailed biography — the first to be published — reconciles the personality with the playing by offering a thorough account of the pianist's life as well as a complete reappraisal of his musicianship.

Beginning with Pachmann's childhood in Odessa, Mitchell follows the process by which the youngest of 13 children evolved into one of the finest — and most colorful — artists in the history of the piano, one who was able to fill London's Albert Hall for a recital. Particular emphasis is laid on the two principal relationships of Pachmann's life: with the pianist Marguerite Okey, to whom he was married for a decade, and with Francesco Pallottelli, the waiter-turned-impresario under whose influence he eventually settled in Fascist-era Italy. Tracing an arc from Beethoven — an acquaintance of Pachmann's father — to Pierre Boulez — a pupil of Pachmann's son — Mitchell's biography urges a reassessment of a musician whose life and legacy have been too long in eclipse.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253341693
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction A Citizen of the World
One Becoming de Pachmann
Two Building the Myth
Three M. and Mme. de Pachmann
Four "My Wife, Madame Labori"
Five Colleagues
Six The Demon
Seven "The face of one's friend"
Eight The Black Hand
Nine "The sky is changed!"
Ten Opium Ghosts
Eleven The Exhaustless Genius
Twelve The Vanishing Years
Epilogue The Others
Discography by Allan Evans
List of Works Played: 1882 (Vienna)-1929 (Vienna)
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