International Piano Archives is a non-profit corporation chartered in New York as the successor to the International Piano Library, founded in Ohio in the 1960’s by Albert Petrak and Gregor Benko.After donating its collections to the University of Maryland, the International Piano Archives continued to operate quietly, producing historic recordings in conjunction with various companies and sponsoring research concerning the art of great pianists of the past.
International Piano Archives is not associated in any way with the University of Maryland or the collections there known as “International Piano Archives at Maryland.”The views expressed here represent the New York corporation and its president, Gregor Benko, but in no way represent those of IPAM or The University of Maryland.
March 28, 2007 -Gregor Benko, President of International Piano Archives, announced today that the Archives is mounting a campaign to collect funds to bring a plagiarism lawsuit on behalf of author Edward Blickstein against Indiana University Press and Mark Mitchell,publisher and author of a biography of the pianist Vladimir de Pachmann, who died in 1933.
“Mitchell stole about half of my unfinished book,” said Blickstein, “and all of the years of research I had completed up to that point, but still managed to produce a pretentious, error-laden and incomplete picture of one of the most fascinating musical artists in history.” Pachmann, one of the earliest performing artists who was unashamedly gay, was a clown, a sort of Victor Borge and Liberace combined, but was also considered one of the greatest pianists of his day, and was a protégé of Franz Liszt. Features of his life inspired author Vladimir Nabokov when he wrote his “Bachmann.” After Pachmann’s death stories of his outrageous behavior overshadowed his musical reputation, and only in recent years has he again begun to be considered a great artist, rather than the clown known as the "Chopinzee."
Blickstein has been working on this biography for almost five decades, and for much of that time was assisted by Benko as editor. Mark Mitchell gained access to Blickstein's unpublished manuscript and used it to fashion a separate biography of the pianist, which only six months later he sent to Indiana University Press for publication. In late October 2006 I.U. Press sent Blickstein a letter of apology and withdrew Mitchell's book, citing the fact that it had "insufficiently acknowledged" use of Blickstein's manuscript.
“I.U.'s finding is in itself insufficient,” said Benko, “and leaves the way open for Mitchell to escape any consequences.It sidestepped the issue of plagiarism - Mitchell was not authorized to use any of Blickstein's unpublished words, or research. We provided I.U. Press with many pages of examples of Mitchell's theft of Blickstein’s words and research, but they chose to find him guilty of mere academic sloppiness.”Benko says it is important that Mitchell be exposed for what he calls his “disgusting academic dishonesty,” and points out that Mitchell presumably used his authorship of the disputed book in his application for a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, which he was awarded in 2006. When Benko informed officials of the Guggenheim Foundation of Indiana’s finding, they declined to receive any information about the case.
“It is pure academic fraud,” says Benko, “and should not go unremarked, or unpunished. Literary thieves should not get awards.” Plagiarism in the university world has surfaced as an emerging problem, and the Chronicle of HigherEducation recently featured a series of articles concerning a scandal at Ohio University, which tried to stonewall details of plagiarized doctororal theses it had granted.
Janet Rabinbowitch, Head of Indiana University Press, told a reporter that her Press might have been sued for libel had they found plagiarism in this case.“Indiana University should be ashamed of itself for covering their rear, rather than upholding the highest standards of academic behavior,” Benko said.“They should have found that plagiarism occurred, and faced the consequences.They published the book with the stolen material.”
“I don't relish having to publicly ask for money to bring on a fight against a powerful university,” Benko said, “but it's just not right to let this pass.” Edward Blickstein, who is 75 and lives on a combination of Social Security and gifts from well-wishers, continues to work with Benko. Their manuscript about Pachmann is now nearly completed and they are hoping it can see the light of day soon.
Mark Mitchell has been the co-editor of anthologies on gay themes with well-known novelist David Leavitt, with whom he has lived for many years. Leavitt, who earlier received a Guggenheim grant himself, had been a respected figure whose reputation was tarnished in the early 1990’s when his book While England Sleeps was the center of a scandal and eventually withdrawn and destroyed (a rewritten version was later published). For that attempt to use the life story of poet Stephen Spender without authorization, Leavitt was branded the most prominent literary thief of recent decades.
An interesting sideline to the story is the reason for the Archives' need to raise funds from the public to mount the lawsuit. Benko points out that a recent revision of the American copyright act included a little-known feature which henceforth made it impossible for aggrieved authors in Blickstein's position to collect legal fees in suits they bring and win for such plagiarism.* “The copyright revision allows Blickstein to collect only actual monies lost - the royalties on sales of maybe a thousand copies, a few thousand dollars at most, but not legal fees, which would be many tens of thousands,” said Benko. “No lawyer will therefore take the case on a contingency basis. Because this is not about huge profits, but rather academic honor, our system doesn't care,” Benko said.
A copyright specialist lawyer in New York who agreed as a favor to look over Benko and Blickstein's claims quickly came to the conclusion that the case would be a 'slam dunk win' if brought to court, but declined to take the case on a pro bono basis. “That's what we're looking for,” said Benko. “Either a crusading attorney who will help us bring this case because he or she is interested in fair play in the University world, or perhaps to fight the encroachment of increasingly restrictive copyright provisions that limit the general public's rights, or for whatever reason. Barring that, we are beginning to assemble an apparatus to collect funds to finance the case,” said Benko.
An initial donation of $1,000 was made by Dr. Derek Oppen, a longtime fan of the playing of the pianist Pachmann, who has been following the unfolding details of this story for some months. “I initially wanted the money to be used by Blickstein personally,” said Oppen, “since I know he barely gets by, and I am looking forward to his book.”
International Piano Archives, the non-profit corporation Benko co-founded in the 1960's and ran for many years, assembled the world's most comprehensive collection of materials related to concert pianists, and donated it to the University of Maryland library system in the 1970's. Since then it has quietly sponsored the re-issue of historic pianist recordings for various commercial labels. Benko and International Piano Archives can be contacted at:
The case against Mitchell, as well as transcripts of correspondence with Indiana University, is available at International Piano Archives website: http://intlpianoarchives.com/.
*Section 412 of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C.sec. 412, whose effective date was January 1, 1978
MARK MITCHELL AND HIS THEFT OF ANOTHER AUTHOR’S WORK IN HIS BIOGRAPHY OF VLADIMIR DE PACHMANN:
HERE IS THE EVIDENCE:
One of several projects undertaken by the International Piano Archives was the fostering of the work of Edward Blickstein, who is writing a biography of Vladimir de Pachmann. Gregor Benko had been working with Mr. Blickstein as an editor, and sent a copy of Blickstein’s unfinished manuscript to Mark Mitchell, who expressed an interest in taking over Benko’s position. Soon after this Blickstein decided that he did not wish to work with Mr. Mitchell. Any principled scholar would have walked away. Astonishingly, six months later Mark Mitchell sent the Indiana University Press a manuscript of what he claimed was his original biography of Vladimir de Pachmann! A large part of that manuscript was taken from the unpublished Blickstein manuscript. Mitchell did not ask Blickstein’s permission, nor apparently did he tell the people at Indiana University Press of the conflict. Subsequently one reader for Indiana University Press reported that the Mitchell book could not be published as it stood, and needed more research. Mitchell obliged, accomplished some original research, and his volume was published in its updated version in 2002.
Mssrs. Blickstein and Benko were horrified to find that the published Mitchell version still represented an enormous unauthorized and uncredited use of Blickstein’s work. Mitchell helped himself to all of Blickstein’s research, especially material Blickstein had gained from personal interviews with the pianist’s son and his amanuensis, as well as swiped many of Blickstein’s own words. Strangely, most of the material taken from Blickstein was not sourced in the Mitchell's published book – the editor apparently never bothered to ask Mitchell from where he was getting all this arcane information about Pachmann’s personal life.
Benko and Blickstein began a long and arduous process of trying to receive acknowledgement and satisfaction from Indiana University. Benko visited Indiana University Press and was treated as if he were an enemy. After many letters back and forth, the editor who origimally allowed Mitchell to get away with this act of literary theft sent a letter of apology to Mr. Blickstein, saying they were sorry his manuscript wasn’t properly acknowledged. Mitchell’s book was withdrawn.
But Indiana University avoided the overriding issue entirely - that Mitchell not only did not properly acknowledge Blickstein’s manuscript, but that he stole Blickstein’s research and several parts of his manuscript, using it all without permission. It was not a published source and not available for anyone else’s use, but Indiana University did not brand Mitchell a plagiarist. It seems that he will suffer no punishment for his theft. The Guggenheim Foundation awarded Mark Mitchell a grant in 2006 to write a new book, and was not interested to hear about his misdeed at Indiana University Press. It seems this kind of theft is acceptable to the Guggenheim Foundation. Perhaps a finding that Mitchell had committed plagiarism would have elicited a different response from Andre Bernard at the Guggenheim. But neither Blickstein nor International Piano Archives has the resources to bring a suit claiming plagiarism against Indiana University Press and Mark Mitchell, and copyright law states that such a case could not recover legal costs if it were won.
Inadequate response to plagiarism in universities was the subject earlier this year of articles in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Those articles detailed the reluctance of an Ohio university to investigate and deal with plagiarism in graduate theses. Also, Indiana University Press came in for severe criticism in 2006 in articles in the Musical Quarterly and Notes, which detailed lapses in the Press’s editorial standards.
Here are the appalling details of Mark Mitchell’s literary theft, and Indiana University’s blasé response:
On December 8, 2005 Gregor Benko wrote to the President of Indiana University, Dr. Adam Herbert, explaining that in November, 2002 Indiana University Press issued the volume, Vladimir de Pachmann, A Piano Virtuoso’s Life and Art, by Mark Mitchell, and that at least forty percent of that book was taken from an unpublished manuscript written by Edward Blickstein. Benko’s letter read:
“…On May 22, 2003 I visited the then-Director of the I.U. Press, Peter-John Leone, and his assistant, Ms. Janet Rabinowitch, at the Press’s office in Bloomington. (Since then Mr. Leone has left the Press and Ms. Rabinowitch has assumed his position.) At that meeting I acquainted them with my claim… they were guarded in their response. In the interim I.U. Press has published another book by Mr. Mitchell.
It has taken me two years to prepare a comprehensive case that establishes the validity of my claim. I now have completed that work …I am entirely confident that my evidence is overwhelming. I have consulted an attorney who specializes in copyright infringement who concurs that the evidence… is more than sufficient, but I do not wish to pursue this matter through legal channels unless absolutely necessary. Once the claim ….has been examined and agreed to, we can explore remedies for author Edward Blickstein, who has been substantially harmed by this incident.
Enclosed please find letters addressed to you by several parties who are familiar with this matter, including a sealed one from Prof. Richard Zimdars of Georgia, formerly one of I.U. Press’s distinguished authors, and in fact, a reader for Mitchell’s …[original] manuscript.
To establish my bona fides: I am the co-founder of the International Piano Archives, and the donor of its collections to the University of Maryland. My work as a historic piano musicologist is well known. I am not currently associated with any institution, but working privately on several writing projects.
I eagerly look forward to your response, and to setting a time when I can come to Bloomington to present my case in person to the parties you appoint to the task, and then exploring the redress due Mr. Blickstein. I am sending a copy of this, plus copies of the accompanying letters, to Chancellor Kenneth Gros Lewis.
Enc: letters from Dr. Frank Cooper, Dr. Nigel Nettheim, Dr. Richard Zimdars, Donald Manildi and Francis Crociata
Dr. Herbert responded that he was turning the matter over to the University’s legal counsel. Benko received a letter from that counsel, Michael A. Klein, and a number of letters passed between them. Benko and Blickstein then sent Counselor Klein an annotated copy of Blickstein’s original manuscript, with the more than eighty instances of Mitchell’s theft of Blickstein’s material, often of Blickstein’s actual words, highlighted. That material was prefaced by a detailed explanation of how Mitchell came to have a copy of Blickstein’s manuscript. It pointed out the spots where, after Mitchell returned that manuscript, notations in Mitchell’s own hand were found. That explanation as well as the dozens of specific instances of Mitchell’s thefts from Blickstein are to be found below.
First, the letter of apology: ========================================================== Indiana University Janet Rabinowitch, Director Indiana University Press 601 North Morton Street Bloomington, Indiana 47404-3797 October 26, 2006
To: Mr. Edward Blickstein
Dear Mr. Blickstein,
As you may know from Indiana University Counsel Michael A. Klein’s letter of October 23, 2006, to Gregor Benko, Indiana University press has withdrawn from print Vladimir de Pachmann: A Piano Virtuoso’s Life and Art by Mark Mitchell. We have taken this step because we are persuaded by the materials that you and Mr. Benko have submitted to Indiana University that Mitchell’s book doesn’t sufficiently acknowledge the intellectual debt it owes to your prior unpublished manuscript about Pachmann.
Before its publication of Mr. Mitchell’s book, Indiana University Press did not know the history of your work, your manuscript on Pachamnn, or the extent of your previous communications with Mr. Mitchell. Prior to its acceptance by the Press, Mr. Mitchell’s manuscript has been subjected to the Press’s usual peer review procedures. Having now examined the materials presented by Mr. Benko, we have concluded that Vladimir de Pachmann: A Piano Virtuoso’s Life and Art should have included proper acknowledgement of your work and documentation of its specific contributions where appropriate. I extend to you a sincere and heartfelt apology, both personal and on behalf of Indiana University Press, that our publication did not provide proper acknowledgment of your prior work.
With best wishes,
Janet Rabinowitch Director
========================================================== Edward Blickstein Gregor Benko P.O. Box 13 Hensonville, New York 12439 December 5, 2006 To: Janet Rabinowitch, Director Indiana University Press 601 North Morton Street Bloomington, Indiana 47404-3797
Dear Ms. Rabinowitch:
We are in receipt of your letter of apology addressed to Mr. Blickstein, dated October 26, 2006. We find your response insufficient; while it admits that Mr. Mitchell and I.U. Press made unacknowledged use of Mr. Blickstein’s material, it does not address the following important points:
1) Mr. Mitchell’s use of Mr. Blickstein’s material was not just unacknowledged, but was unauthorized. Mr. Blickstein’s manuscript was not a published source and was not available for Mr. Mitchell’s use.
2) Mr. Mitchell’s book is almost unique among books published by academic presses in that it was printed purporting hundreds of facts that were not sourced; all the unsourced material was stolen from the Blickstein manuscript.
You were the editor responsible; your claim that Mitchell’s manuscript was “subjected to the usual peer review procedures” is an inadequate explanation. Another editor would have required Mitchell to produce and cite sources for this unsourced information. This exposes deeply disturbing problems at Indiana University Press. These problems have been noted elsewhere and, as you know, the decline at I.U. Press was lamented by the President of Bard College in a recent issue of the Musical Quarterly, and elsewhere.
Mr. Mitchell is a literary thief whose duplicitous behavior must not be ignored; I.U. Press, by its refusal to accept any but minimal responsibility in this matter, has done nothing to expose him, nor prevent him from continuing his career as a literary thief. In that I.U. Press and you personally share complicity in a shameful derogation of your duty to uphold minimum standards among scholars.
Edward Blickstein Gregor Benko Cc: Dr. Adam Herbert
========================================================== EDWARD BLICKSTEIN GREGOR BENKO P.O. Box 13 Hensonville, New York 12439
To: Dr. Adam Herbert December 5, 2006 President, Indiana University 107 S. Indiana Ave. Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7000
Dear Dr. Herbert:
On December 8, 2005 Gregor Benko wrote to you concerning a book that was published by I.U. Press written by Mark Mitchell, that was largely stolen from an unpublished manuscript by Edward Blickstein. Mr. Benko’s letter was accompanied by five separate letters from distinguished scholars who were familiar with the affair. You wrote to Benko that you were turning the matter over to counsel. On October 26, 2006 Janet Rabinowitch wrote a letter of apology to Mr. Blickstein; we enclose a copy, as well as a copy of our response. At that time Ms. Rabinowitch was the editor who worked with Mitchell at I.U. Press. She is now the Head of the Press. Ms. Rabinowitch’s problems in handling her job have been the subject of concern in the academic press for more than a year. We feel that Indiana University’s very limited admission of responsibility is inadequate, and evades important issues, transcending Ms. Rabinowitch’s lack of due diligence in dealing with Mitchell. While it is true that Mitchell's use of Blickstein's manuscript was insufficiently acknowledged, the important point is that Mitchell’s use was not authorized.
Mitchell committed literary theft, and I.U. is ignoring that. There is compelling reason to expose Mitchell so that minimum standards of scholarly behavior can be upheld. Your counselor Klein’s solution leaves the University's commitment to upholding those standards in doubt. Mitchell has received a Guggenheim Foundation grant, using his authorship of the book in question as part of his cirriculum vitae. In addition to the finding already handed down that Mitchell’s use of Mr. Blickstein’s material was not “sufficiently acknowledged,” we urge you to reopen the investigation into this matter with a view to finding that Mr. Mitchell used the material without authorization. There should be no room to anyone to conclude, “This was just a minor disagreement about sourcing and acknowledgement.” There is abundant evidence to support our claim that Mitchell had no authorization to use Blickstein’s material. No one from I.U. has ever asked to examine that evidence and it would be easy to conclude that, so far, no one from I.U. really wants to take a stand in this important matter, perhaps out of concern that Mr. Mitchell will in turn sue the University, a sad comment on the University.
Edward Blickstein Gregor Benko
========================================================== Indiana University Office of University Counsel Bryan Hall 211 107 South Indiana Avenue Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7000
To: Gregor Benko January 16, 2007 P.O. Box 13 Hensonville, New York 12439
Dear Mr. Benko:
Your letter of December 5, 2006 has been referred to me for response. Please accept my apologies for the long delay. My office did not receive the letter until earlier this month.
I am genuinely sorry that you and Mr. Blickstein believe that Indiana University’s response to your complaint is “inadequate.” The university undertook an extraordinarily time intensive and conscientious review of the materials you provided. As you will recall, your letter of September 1, 2006 requested that IU (1) immediately withdraw Mitchell’s volume from circulation; (2) provide Mr. Blickstein a letter of apology “the content to be mutually agreed upon”; and (3) provide compensation to Mr. Blickstein.
In response, IU withdrew Mr. Mitchell’s book from circulation and, by letter dated October 26, 2006, Ms. Janet Rabinowitch, the Director of IU Press, offered Mr. Blickstein he “sincere and heartfelt” apology on behalf of herself and on behalf of the university. Finally, in my letter to you of October 23, 2006, I tried to carefully explain why, under the circumstances, IU would not provide compensation to Mr. Blickstein.
IU took those steps unilaterally (it asked for nothing in exchange) because, upon review of your materials, it concluded that Mr. Blickstein’s efforts had, indeed, been insufficiently acknowledged in Mitchell’s volume. Your recent letter to President Herbert requests that IU “reopen the investigation…with a view to finding that Mr. Mitchell used the material without authorization.” I am afraid I must recommend that IU decline your invitation. In my judgment, and in light of the steps IU has taken and the letters IU has provided you and Mr. Blickstein, no reasonable person could conclude that the issue involved here was “just a minor disagreement about sourcing and acknowledgement.”
In any event, IU has now taken the steps it considers appropriate in light of the information you and Mr. Blickstein have made available.
With best wishes,
Michael A. Klein Associate University Counsel Cc: President Adam Herbert Janet Rabinowitch
========================================================== GREGOR BENKO P.O. Box 13 Hensonville, New York 12439
To: Mr. Michael A. Klein Jan. 20, 2007 Associate University Counsel Indiana University 107 S. Indiana Ave., Bryan Hall 211 Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7000
Dear Counselor Klein:
Thank you for your letter of January 16.
As your letter points out, we requested that the University provide Mr. Blickstein with a letter of apology, “the content to be mutually agreed upon.” The letter that the University provided was not “mutually agreed upon” – we would never have agreed to a letter which stated that Mr. Mitchell’s transgression was merely a lack of proper acknowledgement.
Although you claim the University’s actions in this matter would allow “no reasonable person” to “conclude that the issue involved” was “just a minor disagreement about sourcing and acknowledgement,” that is exactly what has happened. When I contacted the vice-president of the Guggenheim Foundation, asking that the Foundation consider rescinding Mr. Mitchell’s recent grant (given in part on the basis of his having written the biography of Pachmann under discussion), he declined to receive any information about the matter. Do you think he would have so declined if the University had publicly identified Mr. Mitchell as a plagiarist?
I am afraid that is the elephant in the room – until Mr. Mitchell is certified as someone who committed plagiarism, this entire fracas will continue to be seen as a disagreement, rather than a case of theft. Neither Mr. Blickstein nor I can make a finding of plagiarism; we can only claim our opinion that Mitchell extensively copied his manuscript. Plagiarism could have been determined by either a court of law, or by the University. The University has chosen to protect its own interests by avoiding the issue.
The amount of time that the University has already spent on this matter is of little concern to us – it was after all the University that published Mitchell’s manuscript and harmed Mr. Blickstein. Had Ms. Rabinowitch been a more able editor, this likely would not have happened. If anyone should suffer because of the strain on the University’s resources, it should be those responsible – that would be Mr. Mitchell and Ms. Rabinowitch, not Mr. Blickstein.
What Mr. Mitchell did was dishonest and disgusting. He should be exposed, and if not punished, at least prevented from being able to take a place in the scholarly community as a respected member.
Since the University has chosen not to uphold the highest standards of journalistic and scholarly behavior in this particular matter, it falls to us to pursue our remedy elsewhere. The “story” is now enlarged from that of a dishonest scholar, to that of a dishonest scholar and his publisher, a University not interested much in exposing him as dishonest, or opening itself to criticism. It is our contention that Mr. Mitchell’s use of Mr. Blickstein’s material was not a case of “lack of proper acknowledgement,” but one in which a finding of plagiarism would have been the result of a court case, and should have been the finding of the University.
In 1959 a twenty-seven year old piano student named Edward Blickstein began a project that was to become his lifework. Fascinated by the stories his teacher told of the pianist Vladimir de Pachmann, Blickstein resolved to write Pachmann’s biography. He conducted research in archives and libraries, and in 1959/1960 spent two years in Europe, interviewing people in London, also the pianist’s son Leonide in Paris, and Mr. Cesco Pallottelli, the pianist’s factotum, and his family, in Rome. Blickstein incurred considerable expense in undertaking this research. Continuing in the United States, Blickstein wrote articles and lectured about the pianist in the coming years. Sometime in the late 1960’s Blickstein became interested in the work Gregor Benko was doing with recordings of historic pianists, through his non-profit organization, International Piano Archives, and visited I.P.A. in New York. Benko subsequently hired Blickstein to write liner notes for several reissue recordings sponsored by the Piano Archives. The two became friendly and Blickstein told Benko of his projected Pachmann book, and showed him the state of his manuscript-in-progress. Benko was impressed but realized that Blickstein’s manuscript needed extensive editorial work, and agreed to work informally with Blickstein as an editor. The two met often over the next years and worked on improving the manuscript. This was sporadic and sometimes interrupted, and for periods in the 1970’s and 1980’s Benko was living in other cities. Gradually the joint venture ground to halt, not by design but by inertia. The manuscript still contained many errors, omissions, misspellings, incorrectly copied quotes, unidentified sources etc. Blickstein’s manuscript was a work-in-progress and had not been sent to the Library of Congress to be registered for copyright.
There was a period when Benko and Blickstein were not in touch, but Benko never forgot about the project; Benko had possession of the original manuscript and much of the research material.
In July 1999 Benko was contacted by Mark Mitchell, and Benko and Mitchell commenced an email correspondence. Mitchell had a contract from Indiana University Press to write a book entitled “Virtuosi” and asked Benko to read and comment on the “Virtuosi” manuscript. In the course of the correspondence, Benko told Mitchell of Blickstein and his Pachmann manuscript. Mitchell was particularly fascinated to learm that Pachmann had been a gay man. Benko told Mitchell of his hopes that someone could take his place working as an editor with Blickstein to finish the Pachmann book, or if Blickstein were dead or not interested in finishing the book, then someone to finish the book on their own. Mitchell expressed avid interest, and in August 1999 Benko sent Mitchell a photocopy of the Blickstein manuscript-in-progress. Mitchell liked the manuscript, and there was discussion of the possibility, should Blickstein be dead or no longer interested, of Benko and Mitchell working together to finish the book. On Nov. 1, 1999, Mitchell wrote Benko: “I have begun typing the Pachmann mss. It is an incredibly rewarding work, and it is work – Blickstein’s mss. has the virtue, not inconsiderable, of having a ‘voice,’ and yet the writing is really quite bad – misspelled names, poor sequencing of events, undeveloped thinking. By the end of the year, I hope to have a cleaned-up copy and typed mss. from which to work, and yet I am reluctant to begin making the great investment of time and labor that the biography requires if it is to see the light of day because I have no assurances that the project is really mine….”
Benko began searching for Blickstein, located him after some effort, and met with him on Nov. 26, 1999 to discuss the matter. He learned that Blickstein did not want to abandon his Pachmann project, but was open to the idea of working with Mitchell. Blickstein asked Benko to act as the go-between, and to have Mitchell write a sample chapter to demonstrate what his writing on Pachmann would be like. Mitchell had already begun to retype the Blickstein manuscript on his own, and he quickly wrote and sent the requested sample chapter, with a cover letter dated Nov. 30, 1999. Mitchell wrote Blickstein about his interest in: “working with your remarkable manuscript…to bring it to a point at which it can be published. You have accomplished two of the most difficult tasks…you have written with a distinct voice, and you have made Pachmann immensely sympathetic.”
Mitchell went on to suggest ways in which the manuscript could be improved, writing, (amazingly, in light of his own subsequent neglect in citing sources): “…in the present publishing climate…an academic press would insist upon every word being properly credited.”
Mitchell made suggestions of how his input could improve and help complete Blickstein’s work, writing: “Your manuscript would form the heart and organizing principle of the book…” and suggesting that the completed work have Blickstein’s words in regular typeface, and his in italic.
Mitchell included a sample chapter of a Pachmann book he would write that was, surprisingly, very poorly written, much like a high school student’s book report. After reading it, Blickstein told Benko to let Mr. Mitchell know that he did not want to work with him on the Pachmann book. Benko conveyed that to Mitchell, and their email correspondence continued, with the curious twist that Mitchell now seemed to be “demonizing” Blickstein, with whom he had never had any direct contact, and just recently had been praising.
In early February, 2000, Mitchell left a telephone message on Benko’s answering machine, stating that he had sent the photocopy of Blickstein’s manuscript back by mail, and had decided to write his own Pachmann book! Benko was angry, knowing that Mitchell had most likely copied the Blickstein manuscript. Mitchell seemed oblivious to the delicacies of the situation, one in which most principled scholars would have simply withdrawn from further participation, to avoid any appearance of wrongdoing.
On Feb. 15, 2000, Benko wrote to Mitchell that the photocopy of the Blickstein manuscript had arrived (it came with several added handwritten notations of Mitchell’s own.) In that email, Benko also wrote: “How could you jump to the self-serving conclusions you have about Blickstein, suggesting that his importance to any Pachmann biographical project is only in his own mind? You are wrong.”
And…. “I am most angry about your apparent insensitivity to the tremendously difficult position you have put me in…Am I right in assuming you have finessed me into supplying you with another’s research and photographs, which you intend to use without recompense or permission?…If you are going to work on an independent Pachmann book and are tempted to use Blickstein’s research, I am going eventually to make the details of your actions concerning the Blickstein materials, with copious extracts from our voluminous email correspondence, available to interested parties, if not to prevent you from appropriating Blickstein’s material, at least to acquaint interested parties with the facts of the matter…” On July 28, 2000, just six months later, Indiana University Press received a manuscript from Mitchell of “his” Pachmann biography. I.U. Press sent a copy that manuscript to one outside reader, Professor Richard Zimdars of the University of Georgia (a distinguished author whose own works had been published previously by I.U. Press). Zimdars read the Mitchell manuscript and sent I.U. Press a negative report, saying that the manuscript would need considerable “fleshing out” to be made publishable.
It beggars the imagination that Mitchell could have researched and written "his" independent biography of Pachmann, with its thousands of facts, in six months. Prof. Zimdars kept the copy of the Mitchell manuscript, and we are now in possession of that copy. It reveals that Mitchell had done a small amount of original research in the interim, but the bulk of material came directly from Blickstein’s manuscript!
Seventeen months later in Nov. 2002, I.U. Press brought out Mitchell’s finished Pachmann book. Benko and Blickstein found several instances of further new research and material that Mitchell incorporated in the intervening time, but were also much distraught to learn the extent of Mitchell’s use of material from the Blickstein manuscript.
In the published I.U. Press book, Mitchell carefully thanked Benko in the acknowledgements. He listed Blickstein’s manuscript in his bibliography, and in one instance cited the Blickstein manuscript as his source for one statement. But those were only ploys, and do not hide the fact that Mitchell stole wholesale all of Blickstein’s research, and purloined Blickstein’s biographical structure and concepts. Indeed, all of the personal information about the pianist Pachmann not cited from any published source came from Blickstein’s research, and could have come from no other source.
One feature of the published Mitchell book that is unique for a University Press publication is the extremely eccentric and unscholarly method Mitchell used to source the mass of material presented. Often there are footnotes sourcing trivial or irrelevant facts, but a preponderance of the material presented in the book lists no source whatever. In almost every case where no specific source is given, the material was taken from the Blickstein’s manuscript.
Excerpts from many articles published in various journals were also used by Mitchell, and for some of these he cited the original source information. Since they are published sources, those instances are irrelevant and will not be cited hereMore telling are the excerpts from publications that Mitchell used, but for which he gave no source information – all of those instances came from Blickstein’s manuscript, where the sources of the citations were not identified either. Damningly, in several cases Mitchell copied verbatim mistakes Blickstein had made in transcribing such excerpts.
After Mitchell returned the photocopy of the Blickstein manuscript, Benko and Blicksteinfound that several of the pages of the photocopy now had handwritten annotations newly added in pencil. Many of these seemed to be edits, but one concerned new information that was not part of the Blickstein manuscript, and which Mitchell ultimately included in his published book.
These instances of Mitchell's handwritten annotations were pointed out to Indiana when presenting the case against Mitchell. Next, the case against Mitchell presented to Indiana University continued pointing out instances where Mitchell copied Blickstein's mistakes.
MITCHELL COPYING BLICKSTEIN’S MISTAKES
The chaos that characterized the physical state of Blickstein’s original manuscript also characterized the state of Blickstein’s initial scholarship. He had copied out texts from publications longhand, but unfortunately often neglected to copy the citations of specific details of the original publications, and dates for these sources. Naively, he had no idea that anyone would expect that such details should be identified in his finished book! Even worse, Blickstein was habitually incapable of copying sources exactly, and almost always introduced errors into his copies. This presented a huge problem to any editor working with him. However, it also presented a perfect starting point for exposing Mark Mitchell's theft, for Mitchell copied citations from the Blickstein manuscript and presented them in his book, without identifying any sources, and unbeknownst to him, including all of Blickstein’s mistakes.
On page 112 of his book, 3rd paragraph, Mitchell prints an excerpt from a press interview with Pachmann. As with so many hundreds of other citations in the Mitchell book, no source is given, and Mitchell introduced the specific quote by stating:
“With reporters he was particularly voluble – and impolitic…..”
Here is the quote that follows that ambiguous introduction as it appears in Mitchell’s book, from these unsourced “reporters”:
“And other artists? What do they matter to me or I to them? Each of us who feels it is his mission to play the piano in public does it in the manner peculiar to himself, and the difference of interpretation constitutes what music critics call ‘individuality.’ It is an influence which regulates the entire life of its possessor. For instance, I know one famous pianist who prefers dabbling in chemistry to giving public recitals and does so only when he needs money. Another has a penchant for athletics and is prouder of his biceps than the way he plays Beethoven. A third is addicted to the ‘flowing bowl’ and that probably accounts for his ‘liquid tone’ which I read about. Vegetarians, anti-vivisectionists, Fabians and some who have hallucinations that they are composers – all are among my fellow artists of the keys.”
Now here is the quote as found in the Blickstein manuscript, in the chapter entitled “Cesco,” (No. 17), pgs. 15-12 bottom, and 15-13 top:
“And other artists? What do they matter to me or I to them? Each of us who feels it is his mission to play the piano in public does it in the manner peculiar to himself, and the difference of interpretation constitutes what music critics call ‘individuality.’ It is an influence which regulates the entire life of its possessor. For instance, I know one famous pianist who prefers dabbling in chemistry to giving public recitals and does so only when he needs money. Another has a penchant for athletics and is prouder of his biceps than the way he plays Beethoven. A third is addicted to the ‘flowering bowl’ and that probably accounts for his ‘liquid tone’ which I read about. Vegetarians, anti-vivisectionists, Fabians and some who have hallucinations that they are composers – all are among my fellow artists of the keys.”
Note that the two are identical, except for Mitchell’s correction of Blickstein’s typo of “flowering bowl” for “flowing bowl.” However, the source for this quote, the magazine Musical America for October 5, 1907, not identified as the source in the original Blickstein manuscript nor in the Mitchell book, has twelve differences – a dozen mistakes Blickstein made in copying the quote, and a dozen mistakes that Mitchell copied from Blickstein and published. Here is the quote with the twelve mistakes that Blickstein made and that Mitchell copied, highlighted in bold:
“…Oh, other artists! What do they matter to me or I to them? Each one of us who feels it his mission to play the piano in public does it in the manner peculiar to himself or herself, and thesedifferences of interpretation constitute what the music sharps call ‘individuality.’ It is an influence which regulates the entire life of its possessor. For instance, I know one famous pianist who prefers dabbling in chemistry to giving public recitals, and does the latter only when he needs the money. Another has a penchant for athletics and is prouder of his biceps than he is the way he plays Beethoven. A third is addicted to the Flowing Bowl, and that probably accounts for his ‘liquid’ tone which I read about. Vegetarians, anti-vivisectionists, Fabianists and some who have a hallucination that they are composers – all those are among my brother artists of the keys…”
* * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 106, third paragraph, nineteenth line:
“… Dmitri Tiomkin, the pianist and film score composer, remembered once seeing the old maestro in a restaurant eating with a straw.”
Blickstein: “The Voluptuist (No. 15), pg. 3, first paragraph, seventh line:
“…Dmitri Tiomkin remembered seeing the old maestro in a French restaurant eating with a straw….”
Mitchell copied this from Blickstein’s manuscript, which carried the Tiomkin story incorrectly – Blickstein got it wrong, for it wasn’t a straw but a spaghetti strainer. Blickstein hadn't cited a source for the story, not did Mitchell. Since then Blickstein has corrected the story, relying on the authentic source: Tiomkin’s autobiography, “Please Don’t Hate Me,” Doubleday, 1959. Here is the quote from that book, pg. 69: “A friend tells me that the eccentric pianist De Pachmann, who talked to his audiences while he played the piano at recitals, was so afraid of germs that once he put his soup through a spaghetti strainer to filter out the germs.” Mitchell took the information from the Blickstein manuscript, going into print with Blickstein’s incorrect version of the anecdote, with the incorrect “straw” substituted for the correct “spaghetti strainer.” Is there any chance that Mitchell was not copying Blickstein?
* * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 130, last six lines:
“Before departing, Pachmann spoke of Europe to some reporters: ‘It is far over the ocean, and even though I feel a young man, my years are many. Matthew Arnold said, was it not, that the melancholy part of old age is that as our bodies grow old, out hearts grow young.(6) So it is with me.’…”
Footnote 6, on Mitchell’s page 216, reads: “It was not. Matthew Arnold’s poem ‘Growing Old’ tenders no such consolations.”
Blickstein: “The Last of the Chopinzee” (No. 19), pgs. 19 and 20, last four lines and first three lines:
“…He told reporters before departing: It is far over the ocean and even though I feel a young man, my years are many. Matthew Arnold said, was it not, that the melancholy part of old age is that as our bodies grow old, our hearts grow young. So it is with me…”
This is a particularly convoluted instance of literary theft and pretense – Mitchell’s footnote does correct Pachmann’s misquote from Matthew Arnold, but gives no source for the Pachmann quote, once again ascribing it to anonymous “reporters.” Blickstein had not identified the source, so of course Mitchell could not indetify it either. We can forget about Pachmann’s misquoting Mathew Arnold, for as a matter of fact, Blickstein’s manuscript incorrectly copied Pachmann’s interview from its published source. The correctly quoted interview, from the July 6, 1907 issue of Musical America reads (we have emboldened the spots where the difference occur):
“….It is far over the ocean and even though I feel young my years are many. Your Matthew Arnold said – was it not he? – that the melancholy part of age is that our bodies grow old as our hearts grow young. It is so with me.” …
Blickstein’s manuscript and subsequently Mitchell’s book incorrectly cited the quote again as:
“…It is far over the ocean and even though I feel a young man, my years are many. Matthew Arnold said, was it not, that the melancholy part of old age is that as our bodies grow old, our hearts grow young. So it is with me”…
The differences are slight but important, for this shows Mitchell slavishly copying from Blickstein, who had originally mis-transcribed the quote. In addition the the transcribing errors, Blickstein made another mistake, which Mitchell copied. Mitchell’s uses this quote to end a chapter concerning Pachmann’s leave taking of America after his sixth tour there in 1911 and 1912. Blickstein’s original manuscript used the quote also concerning Pachmann’s departure from America after his sixth tour in 1911 and 1912. But the quote was misplaced by Blickstein in his manuscript, for the quote does not date from 1911 and 1912, but rather, from Pachmann’s leave taking of America after his fifth tour in 1907 and 1908. Mitchell simply copied the jumbled quote and the mistaken dating from the Blickstein manuscript. Mitchell took the trouble to consult the original Matthew Arnold poem to “correct” Pachmann, but because he did not consult the original source, and instead relied on copying the Blickstein manuscript, he perpetrated two errors – not important ones per se, but important in demonstrating Mitchell’s sneaky method of literary thievery. The Pachmann quote derives from an identifiable published source, but Mitchell could not get the details of the source from Blickstein.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 136, third and fourth paragraphs, source uncredited: “Pachmann’s response to news of war was decisive and pragmatic, indicating that he suspected the conflict would not, as others said, be over by Christmas. First, believing that French currency would soon be rendered valueless, he changed all of his paper money into silver. Then, as a precaution against food shortages, he bought rabbits. The mere prospect of hunger terrified him. ‘There are two things for me in this world,’ he once said: music and gastronomy. ‘On my deathbed it is my fervent wish that I may have the strength to eat a good, hearty meal!’
Blickstein: “The Voluptuist” (No. 15), pg. 1 paragraph three and pg. 2 top, source uncredited: “There are for me two things in the world. First and ever, my music. When I sit down and play I am Pachmann the musician. But when I sit down to eat, I am Pachmann the gourmet. Gastronomy is the other part of my life, and I pay it the homage it deserves. All my life I have eaten and drunk well, and I will for the rest of my life. On my deathbed it is my fervent wish that I may have the strength to eat a good hearty last meal!’”
The actual, correct quote stems from an article entitled “De Pachmann’s Bequest to Piano Art,” by Kurt Welling, from The Musician, October 1923:
“’There are for me two things in the world,’ he is reported to have said, ‘First and ever my music. When I sit down to play I am Pachmann, the musician. But when I sit down to the table to eat I am Pachmann, the gourmet, Pachmann, the man. Gastronomy is the other part of my life and I pay attention to the homage it deserves. All my life I have eaten and drunk as I willed and for the rest of my life I intend to do the same. On my deathbed if I have the strength I hope to be able to eat a last good hearty meal.” Summarized below is Mitchell’s use of Blickstein’s words, which Blickstein originally miscopied from the source article, with Blickstein’s, then subsequently, Mitchell’s mistakes in bold: ‘There are two things for me in this world,’ he once said: music and gastronomy. ‘On my deathbed it is my fervent wish that I may have the strength to eat a good, hearty meal!’
Mitchell: pg. 42, 3rd paragraph after indent: “…Word of Pachmann’s success in Scandinavia traveled through the royal grapevine, and presently the Danish-born czarina, a sister of both the Princess of Wales and Queen Louise of Denmark, invited him to play once again, in St. Petersburg….”
Blickstein: “A Two Year Honeymoon,” (No. 9), pg. 89, paragraph 3: “The Czarina of Russia, another sister of Princess Alexandra of England and Queen Louise of Denmark, had heard of Vladimir’s Scandanavian [sic] triumphs and once more Vladimir was invited to St. Petersburg to play at Court…”
Blickstein was mistaken in describing Queen Louise at the sister of the Czarina and of the Princess of Wales; she was the mother of these two. Mitchell inadvertently copied Blickstein’s mistake while stealing the other information.
* * * * * ****
Mitchell: Page 21, third paragraph: “…In a 1980 interview with Allan Evans, Aldo Mantia, a student of Pachmann’s in Rome during the late 1920s, compared the pianist’s feelings for his father (antipathy mingled with devotion) with those of Mozart for his father. Thus Pachmann could never abide the sound of the cello, his father’s instrument. (When later, his managers got hold of this intelligence, they used it to bring the pianist into line when he threatened not to play; they would tell him that a cellist was waiting to take his place.)…”
Blickstein: “The Great Triumvirate” (No. 4), Page 44, first paragraph: “…Later in life he professed to hate the sound of the ‘cello worse than any other sound. When he would be acting up and threatening not to appear for a scheduled concert, his managers would always be able to bring him into line quickly by telling him, ‘Oh, very well, we’ve an excellent ‘cellist who can take your place.’ It always worked. The ‘cello was, of course, his father’s instrument.”
Here Mitchell implies that his information comes from a legitimate source (Allan Evans’ interview with Aldo Mantia) by citing the interview in one context, then immediately introducing new information, not from that source, prefaced with the word “Thus”. The problem is that the information is incorrect, and Mitchell could only have gotten it from Blickstein’s manuscript, where it appeared as an error. Pachmann’s father played the violin, not the ‘cello, and it was the sound of the violin that Pachmann hated. The only source for the incorrect ‘cello misinformation was the Blickstein manuscript.
Mitchell: pg. 175: “In any event Cesco won the day, and in 1927 the “man of a thousand farewells” was giving concerts in England at age seventy-nine…” Blickstein, “The Man of a Thousand Farewells” (No. 27), pg. 1: “…Although Papy was old, Cesco didn’t have the heart to refuse him, and so at seventy-nine, in 1927, the ‘man of a thousand farewells’ was back again in London.”
Blickstein coined the term, “Man of a Thousand Farewells”
MITCHELL STEALS BLICKSTEIN’S ACTUAL WORDS
There are multiple instances of Mitchell stealing Blickstein’s words as well as sources:
Mitchell:pg. 111, third paragraph: “On another occasion, noticing an American reporter’s emerald ring, he exclaimed, ‘Quelle couleur!’ then drew it off her finger and slid it as far as he could onto his own. ‘You come to my concert tonight,’ he prompted, returning her ring with a flourish, ‘and I will play for you alone…a living sparkle, a little fountain of green flames, the very color of your emerald stone.’”
Blickstein: “The Voluptuist” (No. 15), pg. 10: “’Quelle couleur!’ he exclaimed to an American reporter, noticing an emerald ring she wore. He drew it off her finger and slid it as far as it could go onto his own. Then with great exuberance he spoke of his own collection, its rareness and beauty, and told her that his deepest desire was to translate this loveliness into sound – a sound as gem-like and as flawless as her beautiful stone. ‘You come to my concert tonight,’ he said, as he returned her ring with a flourish, ‘and I vill play for you alone … I play Chopin so,’ and his fingers ran up an imaginary scale while his eyes glowed. ‘I play so sweetly that all the people stare and applaud. But you, you alone know that I am playing a living sparkle, a little fountain or green flames, the very color of your emerald stone.’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell:pg. 160, last paragraph: “…The more unsure he was of how his audience was likely to receive him, the more unpredictable he became; the more unpredictable he became, the more he was open to censure…”
Blickstein: “The Unredeeming Glory” (No. 25) pg. 11, fourth paragraph: “…The more unsure he was of his audience’s reception, the more eccentric he became, and the more eccentric his became, the more open he was to criticism..."”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 186, second paragraph: “The obituaries of Pachmann befitted his reputation as one of the great pianists of his, and indeed of all time.”
Blickstein: “Epilogue” (No. 29), pg. 1, third paragraph: “If Papy’s funeral was plain and unassuming, subsequent obituaries around the world befitted and confirmed his reputation as one of the great pianists of his time….”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * Mitchell: pg. 138, second paragraph: “It was on this tour of England that Pachmann suffered a change more disruptive to his life even than the war itself: Cesco married.”
Blickstein: “The War Years” (No. 21), pg. 7, first paragraph: “While he was performing all over the British Isles Pachmann received a shock much worse than the war itself: Cesco got married.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: Page 42, fourth paragraph: “Back in England, he and Maggie stayed with her parents in Hampton, where he could sometimes be seen in the garden, polishing the few precious stones he had so far collected…..”
Blickstein: “A Two Year Honeymoon” (No. 9), pg. 90, second paragraph: “They were staying with Maggie’s parents in Hampton and Vladimir could sometimes be seen in the garden polishing the few stones in his collection in the sunlight.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 83, last paragraph, fourth line: “…It was his friendship with Arnold Somlyo, an impresario, press agent, representative, and one-time manager of the Baldwin Piano Company, and huckster – as well as the prospect of a fourth tour of North America – that led him to switch his allegiances yet again. This was a daring move, considering that at the time the Baldwin piano was hardly known.”
Blickstein: “The Golden Age” (No. 16), pg. 2, third paragraph, third line: “…It was his friendship with one Arnold Somlyo that led him in 1903 to switch allegiance to Baldwin – a daring move considering that the Baldwin piano at that time was hardly known and not yet the competitor to Streinway it became later..”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * ** ** Mitchell: pg. 140, third paragraph: “By 1918, the year he turned seventy, Pachmann felt that he had come to a crisis in his musical life…..”
Blickstein: “Papy’s New Method” (No. 22), pg. 1, first paragraph: “When Papy reached seventy in 1918, he came to a crisis in his musical life….”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 144, fifth paragraph: “The fact that Pachmann did not like Fabriano at first – he thought the people provincial and tiresome, found the town dusty and dirty, and suffered from the mosquitoes…”
Blickstein: “Villa Gioia” (No. 23), pg. 21-1, third paragraph: “…. He thought the townspeople were tiresome provincials, the town itself dusty and dirty, and he complained incessantly about bites from ‘dese mosquitoes….’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** *
Mitchell: pg. 66, fourth paragraph, fifth line: “When he first heard Pachmann, he wrote to an American friend: ‘[His] playing is like a delicate and exquisitely scented perfume – evaporative, volatile, refined, suggestive, enchanting.’ He also regarded the fact that Pachmann’s playing ‘defies all laws, all conventions, all analytical dissertations’ as a supreme virtue. Thus, for him, was Pachmann’s ‘the most individual form of artistic expression’ he had ever encountered.”
Blickstein: “Vlady and Lep” (No. 13), pg. 2A: “When he first heard im [sic] play in 1900, he wrote to an American friend: ‘Pachmann’s playing is like a delicate and exquisitely scented perfume – evaporative, volatile, refined, suggestive, enchanting…’” AND “The War Years” (No. 21), pg. 13, third paragraph: “Cesco received a letter from Godowsky, who was now in America. Godowsky had not seen Papy for many years. [‘]….It was like a ray of sunshine to have received a communication relating to my great and admirable friend, the unique and only de Pachmann. The older I grow, the maturer my thoughts and feelings become, the more I grasp, comprehend, love and adore, the art of his [sic] magician of the keyboard, this hypnotizer of musical utterances. His art defies all laws, all conventions, all analytical dissertations. It is the most individual form of artistic expression I have ever encountered….”
Mitchell quotes from two different letters that pianist/composer Leopold Godowsky wrote discussing Pachmann. The first quote Mitchell identifies only as coming from a letter, but he gives no source, no date, and does not identify the recipient. He could not give the source information, for the only source he had for the quote was from the Blickstein manuscript, where the date and recipient were not identified. The letter was written by Godowsky from Paris on August 16, 1900, to his friend, the Chicago music critic Will Hubbard. The original holograph letter was sold by Hubbard’s family to Gregor Benko in the early 1970’s, who has retained it since. No copy of the letter was ever made and it has not been published. Benko provided Blickstein with the quote for his manuscript. The second citation is from a letter Godowsky sent to the pianist’s friend Cesco Pallottelli from Lake Placid, New York on June 10, 1917 and is quoted at length in Blickstein’s chapter No. 21, “The War Years.” Mitchell did not give the details of the source for the quote. The original letter was never published and was lost after Pallottelli let Blickstein copy it in Rome in 1960. Neither of these could have found their way into Mitchell’s book except by theft from Blickstein’s manuscript.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 111, fourth paragraph, fifth line: “… In anticipation of their arrival, Lionel Powell, Pachmann’s English agent, had written a letter of introduction for Cesco and sent it to the Baldwin Piano Company, to be forwarded to its various agents across America. ‘By separate mail we are sending you a photo of Mr. de Pachmann which you may use for advertising purposes,’ Powell explained. ‘The young man seated with Mr. de Pachmann is Mr. Pallottelli, who will accompany him to America. Mr. Pallottelli has already acted as his secretary during the last winter season in England and has proved himself to be a most trustworthy young gentleman in whom Mr. de Pachmann and we place the fullest confidence…..’”
Blickstein: “Cesco” (No. 17), pg. 8, first paragraph: “ ‘By separate mail we are sending you a photo of Mr. de Pachmann which you may use for advertising purposes. The young man seated with Mr. de Pachmann is Mr. Pallottelli, who will accompany him to America. Mr. Pallottelli has already acted as his secretary during the last winter season in England and has proved himself to be a most trustworthy young gentleman in whom Mr. de Pachmann and we place the fullest confidence.’ This letter was sent by Lionel Powell to the Baldwin Piano Company to forward to its various agents across the country….”
Mitchell prints the text of this letter but gives no date nor source; in fact, this was from another letter that no longer exists; it was never published, and Mitchell’s only possible source was the Blickstein manuscript. Cesco Pallottelli described the letter to Blickstein in 1960, and Blickstein paraphrased that description for his manuscript. Mitchell has copied Blickstein’s paraphrase word for word, and Blickstein’s “…forwarded by various agents across” “America” in Mitchell, “the country” in Blickstein. Pure literary theft.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: page 38, third paragraph: “….She was nineteen years old and bore such a strong resemblance to the actress Lillie Langtry that admirers called her ‘the Lillie Langtry of the piano.’”
Blickstein: “The Birth of Pachmannia,” pg. 76, second paragraph: “…She bore such a strong resemblance to that famous beauty of the day, Lily Langtry, that she had come to be known as ‘The Lily Langtry of the piano...”
Here Mitchell has corrected Blickstein’s incorrect spelling of an actress’s first name, but he didn’t hesitate to steal the information and Blickstein’s words.
* * * * * * * **
Mitchell: pgs. 180 and 181, last paragraph and then first paragraph: “Pachmann had always been an object of fascination for his women admirers; one of them had even dared to hope that he might injure his thumb ‘like darling Paderewski. I’d give him twenty-five dollars if he’d wrap it in my handkerchief.’… ”
Blickstein: “The Golden Age,” (No. 16), pg. 7, second paragraph: “Women, subjugated by his art, fascinated by the man, became frantic when he played, for it seemed to them he was making love to everyone of them. ‘The look in some of the ladies [sic] faces,’ wrote the London Times in 1901, ‘reflected not merely admiration, but adoration.’ They’d beseech him for encores as they kissed their programs and sometimes got so excited they’d cry out as they did in New York: ‘I hope he injures his thumb like darling Paderewski. I’d give twenty-five dollars, if he’d wrap it in my handkerchief.’”
MITCHELL STEALS INFORMATION BLICKSTEIN GAINED FROM INTERVIEWS WITH LEONIDE DE PACHMANN:
Mitchell: pg. 42, third paragraph: “…It was here that Maggie gave birth to a son, Victor, whom they seem to have left behind when they went to Odessa to visit Pachmann’s sister, Elizabeth. While they were away the infant died. Not surprisingly, Maggie decided at this point that she wanted to return to England and to her family...”
Blickstein: “A Two year Honeymoon” (No. 9), pg. 89 fourth paragraph and 90 first paragraph: “Vladimir was happy to be able to visit Odessa and his sister Elizabeth during their time in Russia, but the trip was anything but happy. Maggie had become pregnant and a son, Victor, had been born on the very night Vladimir played at Court. Soon after they arrived in Odessa they received an urgent wire from St. Petersburg. The baby had become dangerously ill. By the time they were able to return to the capital the child was dead….Maggie longed for England and her family…”
Mitchell: pgs. 134 and 135, second through fourth paragraphs, then first two paragraphs: “When Lionel and Adrian were boys, Lionel later recalled, and their father would visit them in Paris, he would often treat them to dinner at a deluxe restaurant such as Henry on the rue St. Augustin (just off the Avenue de l’Opéra); if the dinner was especially good, Pachmann would show his appreciation by playing a piece for the chef and his staff on the restaurant’s piano.” “Curiously enough, however, Lionel claimed to have heard his father play in concert only three times. The first occasion, which he described to several interviewers, was in 1909 at Bechstein Hall in London. At this point. Lionel was at the beginning of his own career as a musician. Having first summoned him to the stage, Pachmann introduced the embarrassed young man to the audience with a monologue along the lines of the following: ‘Ladies and gentleman, this is my son. As you see, he is taller than me. He, too, is a musician. As a pianist…(Pachmann made a face). As a composer … perhaps. But as a theoretician (Pachmann kissed his fingers), a most learned man! A professor en attendant at the [Paris] Conservatoire.’ Pachmann then bade Lionel to sit beside him while he played the first piece on his program, all the while making remarks and giving him instructions. When the piece ended, he sent his son back to his seat with the admonishment to remember all that his father had told him.” “The second time Lionel heard his father was a year or two later. Pachmann had agreed to share the stage at the Royal Albert Hall with Jan Kubelik, who owned the Villa Rosalia in Abbazia. Pachmann was to open the concert with a Chopin group, after which Kubelik would play some solos; then, together, they would play Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ sonata.” “That afternoon Lionel, as he told it, rode with his father in a taxi from the Hotel Ronveau to the Albert Hall, Already Pachmann was in an ill humor, thanks to an encounter in the hotel lobby with an old man who had announced his pleasure at the prospect of hearing him ‘accompany’ Kubelik; this sort of thing never went down well with him. When they arrived at the hall, a constable approached the taxi and demanded that the driver, who was looking for the artists’ entrance, move on. When he hesitated, the constable asked whether his passengers already had tickets to the concert, which was sold out. The pianist was uncomprehending. ‘But he is Pachmann,’ Lionel explained to the constable, who immediately showed them to the artists’ entrance. By this point the combination of the old stranger’s effrontery at the hotel and the constable’s failure to recognize him had pushed Pachmann over the edge. ‘I, a ticket?’ he kept sputtering to his son, who did his unsuccessful best to console him.” “In the event, Pachmann’s mood improved once he was in front of his ‘friends’ in the audience, whom he proceeded to gift with so many encores that Kubelik, waiting in the wings, became almost as irritable as the pianist had been half an hour before. Sharing the stage with Pachmann was never easy.”
Blickstein: “A Two Year Itinerary” (No. 18). pgs. 3 through 7, second paragraph through third paragraph: “ For the children, the highlight of their father’s visits was the treat of dining at a restaurant ‘de luxe’ such as Marguerie’s on the Boulevard Poissonière or Henri’s on the Avenue de l’Opéra, where Leonide remembered his father became so enthusiastic he insisted on congratulating the chef and the kitchen staff, who had to line up with their tall hats and white aprons in front of a wheezy old upright while he played the ‘Moonlight’ Sonata in appreciation.” “ In all the years Pachmann had been visiting him, Leonide heard him perform only thrice in concert. At his father’s invitation, he went to London to hear him in 1909 in Bechstein Hall. Being in a particularly good mood that day, he introduced Leonide to his audience in Pachmannesque fashion: “ ‘Ladies and gentlemen,’ he said, ‘this is my son Leonide. You see, he is taller than me. He is a musician . . . As a pianist (he then made a nasty face) he is not ready yet . . . As a composer-maybe? But as a the-or-i-titian, he is (he cupped two fingers to form a circle) ah, one of the most learned of musicians. At the conservatoire he is already a professor ‘en attendant!’ Leonide was made to sit beside his father while he played the concert’s opening work, all the time addressing remarks to him specifically. Soon as the piece ended Pachmann abruptly dismissed him with a warning to remember all he had been told.” “Leonide did not hear his father in concert again until a visit to London a year later, once more on his father’s invitation. The great pianist was to give a joint recital with the violinist Jan Kubelik in which they would play Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata. One can only imagine the results of miscasting Pachmann as a chamber player. His personality was too strong to be subordinated. He had played the work with lady Halle (Mme. Neruda) in the late nineties and was to play it again a few years later with Eugène Ysaye.” “The plan of this program was for Pachmann to begin the concert with a Chopin group, then Kubelik would follow with solos and finally they would join in the ‘Kreutzer.’ However, Pachmann was not happy; he always felt ill at ease giving joint recitals, and a few hours before the concert, was seen sitting in the salon of the Hotel Ronveau, nervously smoking a cigar. An elderly gentleman recognized him and tried to strike up a conversation: “‘I understand you are playing in the Albert Hall this afternoon.’ Pachmann looked at him. ‘Are you a musician,’ he asked. ‘Ah, no,’ was the reply. ‘I play for my own pleasure.’ And in the same breath: ‘I’m told you will accompany Kubelik.’ Pachmann looked at the man incredulously and stopped smoking. The thought was almost too much for him to comprehend. ‘I, accompany Kubelik?’ In the nervous state he was in, it was enough to prompt him into violent rage. ‘The great Pachmann accompany?’ … He was screaming. ‘No, not the great Pachmann!’ Cesco rushed in and quickly led the pianist away while Pachmann kept shouting, ‘It’s finished. I can’t play. I’m too nervous. If people like that are in the audience, what kind of concert will it be! I, Pachmann, accompany? Ouf!’” “When he had quieted down, Cesco went ahead to make final arrangements and left Leonide to look after him and bring him in a taxi to the hall.” “Inside the car, Pachmann said only, ‘Don’t talk!’ He was in a dreadful mood.” “They reached the Albert Hall with its inevitable confusion of taxis, carriages and pedestrians around the huge arena. As it has many entrances, the driver was probably confused by the crowds converging on all of them and hesitated for a moment.” “A policeman quickly approached the vehicle. ‘You can’t stay there,’ he ordered, ‘go further on.’” “‘What are we doing,’ said Pachmann to the cabbie. ‘Leonide, doesn’t he know where the artists’ entrance is? Tell him!’” “‘But papa, I don’t know.’” “‘Oh, you are stupid!’ yelled Pachmann, who commanded the driver to stop so he could alight. The policeman had been following the cab’s journey like a cat with a mouse, and arrived as Pachmann got out. They faced each other, the policeman as tall as Pachmann was tiny.” “‘Are you coming to Pachmann’s concert,’ asked the constable.” “‘Whose concert?’ said the pianist.” “‘Pachmann’s concert,’ replied the policeman sternly. ‘Have you a ticket?’” “‘I . . . . a ticket?’ Pachmann was uncomprehending. ‘What is he saying?’” “Leonide sensed another storm coming. ‘But he is Pachmann.’” “There was a long pause . . .” “‘But you didn’t know me? Have you never seen my photograph before? You can’t be a musician.’” “Leonide led his disallusioned crestfallen father into the artists’ entrance while the pianist mumbled over and over, ‘I, a ticket? A TICKET?’” “However, as soon as he was in front of the audience and saw the large number of his ‘friends,’ he overcame his nervous condition and suddenly his mood was purged and his spirit uplifted. Now he appeared radiant, smiling, and blowing kisses to his admirers around the hall. The audience was so pleased with his performance they insisted on many encores which Pachmann only too generously provided – so much so that Kubelik, who was waiting in the wings to go on, angrily paced the floor, cursing to himself. ‘Well, is he going to stay out there all day?’”
Here Mitchell has stolen Blickstein’s sequencing as well as his information – the paragraphs about Leonide hearing his father follow immediately the paragraph about dining at fine restaurants, then the Albert Hall story. Once again Mitchell gives the impression that the information could have come from several sources (“…Lionel later recalled” and “…he described to several interviewers” and “…as he told it”) but he cites no specific sources. The information comes from Blickstein’s 1960 interviews with Leonide de Pachmann. It is clear that Mitchell simply followed Blickstein’s manuscript, rewriting as a pupil rewrites encyclopedia information into a term paper, including an irrelevant “new fact” concerning the location of a street. Mitchell’s editing and shortening of Blickstein’s long narration of the Albert Hall story did improve the telling, but can’t disguise the theft.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 135, third through fifth paragraphs: “On Lake d’Annecy, he and Cesco gave frequent garden parties as well as evening parties. During one of these a storm arose so suddenly and with such violence that the electricity had to be turned off. Candles were lit, but soon the drafts inside the house extinguished them; the thunder grew louder, and all conversation ceased. “The sky is changed! – and such a change! Oh night And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong.” 4 [quote from Byron] “When the storm had passed, and the electricity was turned on again, Cesco went to look for Pachmann, who had disappeared. Presently he was found hiding under a table, invoking the name of the Virgin over and over again.” “Mostly, however, the weather was glorious. On a particularly magnificent evening, Lionel recalled, his father threw open the French doors so that moonlight would flood over the piano; he then played the ‘Moonlight’ sonata……”
Blickstein: “The Summer Before the Storm” (No. 20), pgs.7 and 8, paragraph two, then one through three: “One night a party was in progress, when there arose a terrible storm, one of those typical summer showers that come on so suddenly in the mountains. It was so violent that the electricity had to be turned off while everyone sat in candlelight discussing it. But the wind was so strong that it quickly extinguished the candles and the thunder was so intense – it pealed from the heavens in great roars which echoed through the mountains – that soon conversation stopped and everyone sat in silence in the dark, listening in wonder to the majesty of nature.” “When the storm subsided and the electricity was restored, Papy’s guests looked for him. He had taken refuge beneath a table, where white as can be, he kept repeating over and over again, ‘Jesu, Maria, Jesu, Maria.’ He was completely terrified.” “But this incident was unusual. Most of the time the weather was glorious, with the sky filled with stars, and the garden filled with friends. On one such occasion, Leonide remembers his father throwing open the French windows, and as the moonlight flooded onto the piano, playing the ‘Moonlight’ sonata, while sardonically smiling.”
Mitchell cites no source for the story; he has doctored his version, changing the French windows into French doors, having the pianist invoke the name of the Virgin rather than “Jesu, Maria, Jesu, Maria” et cetera, but it is clear he has swiped the story from Blickstein’s manuscript. Blickstein’s information came from his interviews with Leonide de Pachmann, and the information has never been published elsewhere.
* * * * * * * * * * * Mitchell: pg. 39, 1st paragraph, middle: “…We learn that on a train Pachmann got into a fight with a fellow passenger about whether a window ought to be left opened or closed; the dispute grew so heated that Maggie had to intervene….”
Blickstein: “Two Year Honeymoon” (No. 9), pg. 82, 1st paragraph: “…Shortly after the honeymoon trip began Vladimir got into a dispute with a fellow train traveller [sic], something about whether a window should be open or not; a little thing, but for him these things were important. The dispute became so heated that the two might have come to blows had not Maggie separated them….”
* * * * * * ** Mitchell: pg 32, middle of 2nd paragraph: “…Although Pachmann had forbidden her to practice more than five hours a day at the piano, she disobeyed him; soon she developed pain in her wrists and a doctor had to be called. The doctor, to whom she confessed having practiced eleven hours a day, found cysts in her wrists and ordered her to leave off playing at once. His recommended treatment was extraordinary. She was to wear a bracelet of live ants….”
Blickstein: “ The Birth of Pachmania” (No. 8), pg. 78, 2nd paragraph, and pg. 79 top: “The doctor ordered her to stop at once, or she may never play again. He [sic] had developed inflammation of the nerves and cysts had formed. To treat the condition Maggie was forced to wear a bracelet of live ants which stung terribly!….” * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 46, second paragraph: “…When, after the concert, one of the directors of the hall complimented her ‘marvelous’ playing, Pachmann shouted, ‘Marvelous? She plays genius-ly. You don’t know anything about music.’…”
Blickstein: “Maggie, or a Tale of Two Cities,” (No. 10), pg. 1, 3rd paragraph: “After the concert, while one of the directors of Salle Erard was complimenting Maggie, Vlady chanced to overhear. ‘Marvelous?’, he shouted. ‘She plays genius-ly. You don’t know anything about music,’….”
* * * * * * * * * Mitchell: pg 63, 2nd paragraph: “‘She divorced me,’ Pachmann said later, ‘because I played the étude in double thirds of Chopin better than she.’…”
Blickstein: “Cunning Chopinzee” (No. 11), pg. 7, middle of pg, “‘She divorced me,’ he said later, ‘because I played the Etude in double thirds of Chopin better than she.’"
* * * * * * * * * * * Mitchell: pg. 42, middle third paragraph: “…It was here that Maggie gave birth to a son, Victor, whom they seem to have left behind when they went to Odessa to visit Pachmann’s sister, Elizabeth. While they were away, the infant died. Not surprisingly, Maggie decided at this point that she wanted to return to England and her family….”
Blickstein: “A Two year Honeymoon” (No. 9), pgs. 89 last paragraph and 90, top: “Vladimir was happy to be able to visit Odessa and his sister Elizabeth during their time in Russia, but the trip was anything but happy. Maggie had become pregnant and a son, Victor, had been born on the very night Vladimir played at Court. Soon after they arrived in Odessa they received an urgent wire from St. Petersburg. The baby had become dangerously ill. By the time they were able to return to the capital the child was dead…Maggie longed for England and her family…”
MITCHELL STEALS INFORMATION BLICKSTEIN GAINED FROM INTERVIEWS WITH CESCO PALLOTTELLI:
Mitchell: pg. 146, bottom 1st paragraph: “…Pachmann was genuinely fond of Rosenthal’s playing of the mazurkas, and later – rewriting history a bit – took to referring to him as ‘my pupil.’”
Blickstein: Villa Gioia (No. 23), pg. 7, 3rd paragraph: “…He became genuinely fond of Rosenthal’s playing of the mazurkas and now referred to him as ‘my pupil.’”
This information was never published anywhere and comes from Blickstein’s interviews with Cesco Pallottelli, who heard Pachmann make the comment; Pallottelli was present when Rosenthal visited Pachmann in Rome.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 136, third and fourth paragraphs: “Pachmann’s response to news of war was decisive and pragmatic, indicating that he suspected the conflict would not, as others said, be over by Christmas. First, believing that French currency would soon be rendered valueless, he changed all of his paper money into silver. Then, as a precaution against food shortages, he bought rabbits. The mere prospect of hunger terrified him. ‘There are two things for me in this world,’ he once said: music and gastronomy. ‘On my deathbed it is my fervent wish that I may have the strength to eat a good, hearty meal!’ (Pachmann would have agreed with Alice B. Toklas that cooking could produce ‘something that approaches an aesthetic emotion.’) On Lake d’Annecy, his posture seems to have been one of retreat, but when the summer ended, he was ready to play in public again. He believed that it was the artist’s sacred duty to communicate with and to console his public, particularly in a time of confusion and horror.” “With this goal in mind, he and Cesco set off for England, where Pachmann was billed as ‘The World Famous Russian Pianist, who has two sons fighting at the front…’”
Blickstein: “The War Years” (No. 21), pg. 1 and 2, paragraphs one and three, and then “The Voluptuist” (No. 15), pg. 1 paragraph three and pg. 2 top, then “The War Years” (No. 21), pg. 2 paragraph two: “They were at Lac d’Annecey where Cesco had rented another summer house when war was declared. It threw the small town into a turmoil. The war had come as a shock, and wildest rumors were everywhere: ‘France will go bankrupt.’ ‘Our money is no good.’ ‘There will be a food shortage.’ And Pachmann, who was as confused as everyone else, believed every word of it. He made Cesco change all their paper money into silver and, ‘lest we all starve,’ persuaded him to buy two dozen rabbits which they kept in the garden. Expecting anything, they waited for the fall of France….” “After the first few weeks of hostilities, the shock gradually diminished for Pachmann, and he began to view things differently from his more pessimistic colleagues. He could not understand why a war should interfere with his career. It was an artist’s sacred duty to communicate, to solace his public, particularly in a period beset by misery and confusion. As he put it, ‘I’m given my work and I must play.’” AND “There are for me two things in the world. First and ever, my music. When I sit down and play I am Pachmann the musician. But when I sit down to eat, I am Pachmann the gourmet. Gastronomy is the other part of my life, and I pay it the homage it deserves. All my life I have eaten and drunk well, and I will for the rest of my life. On my deathbed it is my fervent wish that I may have the strength to eat a good hearty last meal!’” AND “His managers took advantage of this, and when he arrived in England his concerts were advertised as ‘Chopin Recitals by Pachmann, who has two sons fighting at the front.’”
** * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 138, third paragraph, ninth line: “…Earlier, Cesco had assured Pachmann that he and his new wife would look after him once they were married, adding, ‘If you fee lonely, you can live near us.’ Pachmann corrected him: ‘I will live with you.’ Presently, of course, Cesco and Alice understood that they would be living with him.”
Blickstein: “The War Years” (No. 21), pg. 8, second paragraph. Sixth line: “…Cesco told him shortly after the marriage. ‘Don’t worry, Papy, we shall always look after you, and if you feel lonely, you can live near us.’” “‘No,’ replied Papy, ‘I won’t live near you. I will live with you.’” “And he did.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 146, first paragraph, eighth line: “Pachmann was genuinely fond of Rosenthal’s playing of the mazurkas, and later – rewriting history a bit – took to referring to him as ‘my pupil.’”
Blickstein: “Villa Gioia” (No. 23), pg. 21-7, third paragraph, sixth line: “…He became genuinely fond of Rosenthal’s playing of the mazurkas and now referred to him as ‘my pupil.’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 149, first paragraph: “In 1921, he performed throughout Italy, where critics compared his performances to the commedia dell’arte, calling him the ‘Pulcinella [Little Flea] of the Piano….’”
Blickstein: “Villa Gioia,” pg.. 21-7, fourth paragraph, second line: “…Roman critics compared his performances to the commedia dell’arte. The pianistic Pulcinella could not play and go unnoticed.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 150, first paragraph, ninth line: “…When Alice actually did find the stone – a testament to her acumen – Pachmann feigned to be cross, telling her that had she not done so, he would not have had to spend so much money…”
Blickstein: “Return to Britain,” pg.22-2, fourth paragraph: “But all the same, he was very cross with Alice: ‘I know you love me, Alichika and want to please me. But if you hadn’t found the stone, I wouldn’t have spent so much money!’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 150, second paragraph: “Pachmann often visited the old music halls, which presented a greater range of entertainment than is usually thought to be the case today. Prima ballerina Anna Pavlova might share the bill with, say, a mesmerist. One of his favorite music-hall performers was the ‘Laughing Scotsman,’ Harry Lauder, several of whose records, according to Cesco, the pianist owned. He also enjoyed the clown Barclay Gammon, famous for his undisguised imitation of Pachmann himself. (Pachmann’s only objection to Gammon’s performance was that Gammon made him smile too much; sometimes, he reminded Gammon, he was ‘triste.’)”
Blickstein: “Return to Britain” (No. 24), pg. 22-3, second paragraph: “When he was in England, he sometimes visited the old vaudeville houses to see his favorite comedian, the laughing Scotsman, Harry Lauder, whose old recording of a laughing song was one of his prize possessions….” He would play it over and over again, laughing wildly with the Scotsman…” AND “Return to Britain” (No. 24), pg. 22-3 and 22-3, third and then first paragraphs: “There was one comedian he met. This was the piano-entertainer Barclay Gammon, who was famous in his day for his imitations of Pachmann. Once, when Gammon was coming out of Queen’s Hall, he met the pianist who was just arriving. Someone said, ‘This is the man who imitates you,’ and Pachmann went up to Gammon and asked him then and there for an imitation. Gammon asked to be excused, but Papy insisted. They went into the artist’s room with a few friends, and Papy watched while Gammon went to the piano and imitated him. Papy was delighted. ‘But,’ he said, when Gammon finished, ‘you make me smile too much. Sometimes I do not smile. Sometimes I am triste.’ And Gammon had to give an encore.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: Page 62, second paragraph: “…he would exhort Maggie to forgive him for these paroxysms, explaining, according to their son Lionel, ‘I can’t help it. It’s just the way I am….’”
Blickstein: “The Cunning Chopinzee (No. 11), ” Page 4, last paragraph: “….There were days then when, after such an outburst, he might come back with tears in his eyes, asking Maggie on his knees to forgive him. ‘I can't help it,’ he'd say, ‘it's’ the vay I am….’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Mitchell: Page 3, last paragraph: “…Playing Chopin, he might gaze unto the ether then whisper, ‘Did you see? Did you see? Chopin was here…..’”
Blickstein: “A Pachmann Recital,” Page 3, third paragraph: “…he’d look deeper and deeper into the instrument and then in the air: ‘Did you see that? Did you see that?’ he’d whisper. ‘Chopin…Chopin is standing there.’…”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Mitchell: Page 32, first paragraph: “…Pachmann placed particular emphasis on hand position, exhorting Maggie, ‘Never forget the dignity of the hands…’”
Blickstein: “The Birth of Pachmanni” (No. 8), Page 77, last paragraph: “…He placed great emphasis on a beautiful hand position; the hands should never flop about but should present a certain elegant and beautiful appearance. ‘Never forget the dignity of the hands.’…”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Mitchell: page 38, third paragraph, end: “…The reception took place at the Hotel Ronveau, the proprietress of which Pachmann already counted as a friend.”
Blickstein: “The Birth of Pachmannia” (No. 8), pg, 81, last paragraph: “…A reception took place at Vladimir’s beloved Hotel Ronveau….” AND: “The Birth of Pachmannia” (No. 8), pg. 74, second paragraph: “Vladimir became particularly fond of Madam Peter, the redoubtable proprietess [sic] of the Hotel, and his friend for more than thirty years….”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Mitchell: pg. 55, first paragraph, end: “….In this case, in the weeks before Maggie returned to England he took to flying into a rage at the slightest provocation, once losing control so completely that he threatened to ‘kill everyone’ and had to be locked in a cupboard.”
Blickstein: “The Cunning Chopinzee” (No. 11), pg. 4 “stet” paragraph: “…One time an ugly quarrel occurred over some insignificant matter. Pachmann was furious and raved like a mad man. He threatened to kill everyone and was so beside himself with rage that he had to be locked in the cupboard and the police had to be called.”
Mitchell gives no sources for any of the information quoted. It is clear he has lifted it from the Blickstein manuscript, sometimes using his much-exercised ‘student copying from the encyclopedia’ technique: Blickstein: “It was an artist’s sacred duty to communicate, to solace his public, particularly in a period beset by misery and confusion.” Mitchell: “He believed that it was the artist’s sacred duty to communicate with and to console his public, primarily in time of confusion and horror.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * Mitchell: pg. 62, second paragraph: “His marriage, on the other hand, was foundering and would soon end. Although their letters have not been found (possibly they were destroyed), other evidence suggests that Pachmann, and not Maggie, was chiefly responsible for its dissolution. It was his habit, in private and in public, to divert his unhappiness over large, and sometimes inchoate, matters into expressions of frustration over small ones. Now a badly cooked egg or a disagreement with his wife over a Henselt étude made him apoplectic. Invariably, once he had calmed down, he would exhort Maggie to forgive him for these paroxysms, explaining, according to their son Lionel, ‘I can’t help it. It’s just the way I am.’ (Here he might have been trying, albeit unconsciously, to intimate his homosexuality, a crucial if unvoiced facet of the way he was.)”
Blickstein: “The Cunning Chopinzee” (No. 11), pgs. 4 last paragraphs and 5, first paragraph, plus handwritten insert: “It was worse when they returned to England in 1892. Once after a concert, another dispute arose about money in a cab going home. Pachmann was furious. ‘Five hundred pounds is not enough!’, he screamed. Maggie tried to sooth him but the more she spoke, the more angry he became. When they reached Hampton where they were staying with her sister Carrie, he was completely unmanageable. ‘Bring me my dinner, I’m hungry,’ he shouted…’No, no, this egg isn’t well cooked, send it back again.’ He sent it back three times and finally in a fury, got up from the table and, refusing to eat, shouted “I’ll scratch you and burn you all in ze fire!’, and left the room slamming the door. “The frantic pace of the American tour strained Vlady’s sensitive nerves --- life became unbearable. There were days then when, after such an outburst, he might come back with tears in his eyes, asking Maggie on his knees to forgive him. ‘I can’t help it,’ he’d say, ‘it’s the vay I am.’ But Maggie too was under great strain and Vladimir’s repentence [sic] made things no less difficult for her. “Once, a discussion arose in German about an etude of Henselt. Little Leonide was in the room and laughed at the funny language his parents spoke. However, their voices soon rose and the discussion turned into an argument, and as the conversation became more heated, the child became frightened and started to cry and was sent out of the room. The screams became louder and more furious. At last they stopped and there was silence.” “Maggie asked for a separation.”
Mitchell here steals the confidential personal information about Pachmann’s marriage that Blickstein gained from a hard-won intimacy, built over a month of interviews with the pianist’s son Leonide (“Lionel”) and condenses it into a few sentences. Mitchell does state “according to their son Lionel,” but gives no source for Lionel’s (Leonide’s) statement. The only source is the Blickstein manuscript.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 144, fifth paragraph, fifth line: “…Pachmann often opened the windows before he played, and it was said that the farmers working the fields outside would sometimes stop to listen, even in the rain, while a Chopin nocturne floated over the hillside. In prosaic fact, the hillside beneath the villa is too steep to be farmed.”
Blickstein: “Villa Gioia” (No. 23), pg. 21-3, first paragraph: “The peasants of the town knew that a strange old man had moved into the villa on the hill. While they worked in the fields they heard unearthly music coming from the villa, for Papy often opened the shutters of his studio and the sounds from his piano flooded into the valley. It is said that the peasants stopped work to listen sometimes, even in the rain, while a Chopin nocturne floated across the hillside.”
Blickstein never visited the villa in question, and took the information about the peasants stopping their work to hear Pachmann’s playing a Chopin nocturne from his interviews with Cesco Pallottelli at face value; obviously Mitchell has been to the villa and decided the hillside was too steep for the poetic anecdote to be true – but one wonders who is he correcting, since this the only source for this anecdote is Blickstein’s manuscript. Mitchell cites no source for the information. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Mitchell: pgs. 73 and 74, sixth and first paragraphs: “ Pachmann wanted to prove what dupes most critics were, and he succeeded. The socks were his own. Twenty years later, while vacationing in Barbizon, in the Haute Savoie, he met the granddaughter of George Sand. She showed him a pair of pants that she claimed had belonged to Chopin, whereupon Pachmann decided to try the socks story on again, as it were. Once more he produced a pair of torn socks which he said were Chopin’s, and was delighted when the old lady not only believed him but wanted to darn them and send them to Nohant, Sand’s home at La Châtre, as authentic bas de Chopin.”
Blickstein: “Berlin Days” (No. 12), pg. 4, second paragraph plus handwritten insert: “There is a post script to the story. Twenty years later, while vacationing in France, Pachmann and his secretary took a house in Barbizon Savoie, and one of their neighbors turned out to be the grand daughter of Geroge Sand. The old lady showed him some “short pants” that she claimed had belonged to Chopin. Vlady, who had never forgotten the socks, couldn’t resist. He produced a pair of torn socks and was delighted when she immediately [said] she would darn them and send them to Nohant as authentic ‘bas de Chopin.’”
Again Mitchell gives no source for this information. The only source for this story was the Blickstein manuscript; Blickstein got the story from Cesco Pallottelli, who was present when it happened.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 117, first paragraph: “Like Chopin, Pachmann suffered acutely from the cold and damp weather in Britain. Longing for sun, for warmth, and for rest, he and Cesco decided to spend the winter in Rome. There he socialized with a number of musicians, among them Giovanni Sgambati and the baritone Mattia Battistini, with whom he and Cesco dined at the Caffé Greco on Via Condotti – a watering hole popular with artists, writers, and musicians since the days when Goethe had lived in Rome. (Among its more unexpected customers was Buffalo Bill.) Pachmann also dined frequently at Ranieri’s, the punto d’incontro of the Russian colony, where he met Tchaikovsky’s brother Modest – and where, very possibly, he had met Cesco. (If so, one wonders how Cesco felt about returning to a scene from his old life.) Yet Pachmann showed little interest in the city’s archaeological or artistic patrimony, and when Cesco took him to St. Peter’s, he only glanced at the façade, then asked the taxi to deliver him to the market at Campo di Fiori – where he could shop for jewels.”
Blickstein: “A Two Year Itinerary” (No. 18), pg. 16-10, second paragraph, pg. 16-11 paragrahs 1,2 and 4: “During this tour, he complained incessantly of the cold. The dampness of the North, with its endless grey days, depressed him, and he longed for the sun. The traveling was starting to tire him, and his sixty-odd years hung heavily over him. “ At the end of the tour Cesco decided to take him to Rome where they spent the winter. It was Papy’s first visit to that most enchanting city, and while there he saw many musicians, among them Giovanni Sgambati, Liszt’s famous Italian pupil, and the great baritone Mattia Battistini, who invited him and Cesco to dine at the Café Greco on Via Condotti, a Roman landmark popular with artists, writers and musicians since the early nineteenth century.” “ During his stay he was a frequent visitor to Ranieri’s Restaurant, a meeting place of the Russian colony living in Rome. There he met an alleged brother of Tchaikovsky….” “Cesco tried to interest Papy in the famous landmarks of the great city. When they went to see St. Peter’s, Pappy got out of the cab and looked at the majestic Bernini colonades, unimpressed. ‘All right, Cesco, let’s go to Campo di Fiori’ (Rome’s flea market), a more interesting sight to him. He would go there every day in search of precious stones…”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 117, second paragraph: “…Pachmann was in Paris, where he and Cesco had, or would soon take, an apartment on rue Juliette Lamber, in the sixteenth arrondissement. When he returned to London to give his last recital of the season, he was asked to play Chopin’s Funeral March in the king’s memory. At first he refused, saying that under the circumstances performing it would cause him too much pain. Yet once the lights were dimmed, he put his grief aside and played the Funeral March after all.”
Blickstgein: “A Two Year Itinerary” (No. 18), pg. 16-14, fourth paragraph, line 8: “…He was in Paris at the time of the King’s death and was asked, when he returned to London, to play the Funeral March from the B-flat Minor Sonata at his last Chopin recital of the season. At first he refused, saying that he would suffer too much if he played it. However, when the lights were lowered, he walked to the front of the platform and announced that he would play the Funeral March in honor of the memory of his late friend, the King.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 130, first paragraph, fourth line: “…(In fact, just a short time before, Arnold Somlyo had persuaded him to invest in a film company that turned out to be a swindle – resulting in the pianist losing a considerable share of his fortune. Whether Somlyo was the swindler or was swindled himself is unclear.)”
Blickstein: “The Last of the Chopinzee” (No. 19), Pg. 19, second and third paragraphs: “He had mentioned his plans of retiring to Somylo who had bought some shares in a budding film concern. At his suggestion, Papy, with his simple faith in human nature, invested his earnings from the tour in his friend's venture. He happily confided to Cesco, ‘Now I can really retire and live off the earnings from my film shares.’ Alas for Papy, the business turned out to be non-existent, and he was completely swindled….”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 132, second paragraph: “As for Cesco, during the first months of Pachmann’s ‘retirement’ he allied himself with a number of dubious projects in New York, none of which panned out….”
Blickstein: “The Last of the Chopinzee” (No. 19), pg. 20, third paragraph: “Cesco remained in New York some months. He speculated in some dubious ventures and his future seemed uncertain…”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 132, fourth paragraph: “A vintage example of Cesco’s pay-as-you-go attitude toward human relationships was the affair he now began conducting with the daughter if the owner of Pachmann’s hotel in Abbazia, behind the pianist’s back. This was not the first affair that Cesco had had with a woman (in this regard he perfectly illustrated Prime-Stevenson’s paradigm of the ‘he-hetaira’), yet the fact that it came immediately in the wake of his reunion with Pachmann made it seem particularly callous. Now, having dispatched Pachmann to London and installed him there, Cesco returned to Abbazia. When the affair did not work out, he went back to London – and to Pachmann – whereupon the spurned and perspicacious mistress sent a telegram to Cesco blaming Pachmann for ‘interfering’ and threatening to come to London in order to kill the pianist.”
Blickstein: “The War Years” (No. 21), pg. 7, second paragraph: “Through all the years that he had been with Pachmann, Cesco had often entertained thoughts of marriage – but never seriously. Like a true Italian, Cesco was content to have one or two women around but was not keen on marrying the ladies, forever extricating himself from entanglements. First, there was one of the daughters of a wealthy patron of Pachmann, but religious differences ended her hopes; then, there was an American society lady; finally, there was Magda, the most tenacious of the lot. She was the daughter of the proprietor of the hotel in Abbezzia. A beautiful girl, Cesco had fallen deeply in love with her and had left Papy in London to spend a month with her in Venice. Somehow, this did not work out either, and when Cesco returned to London she sent him a telegram blaming Pachmann (who knew nothing about it) for interfering, and in her fury she threatened to come to London and, as she put it, ‘When I get my hands on the old man I’ll kill him!’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 106: “He often expressed a fear of being poisoned (perhaps by one of Paderewski’s ‘Polish patriots’) or of ‘microbes,’ in anticipation of which owners of the restaurants he frequented started keeping sets of dishes and silverware aside for his exclusive use….”
Blickstein: “The Voluptuist” (No. 15), pg. 2: “…Over the years he had developed a fear of being poisoned which had become a mania, and everyone was familiar with it. Knowing this, great restaurateurs kept special dishes and silver set aside for his use, which the great pianist, with his dread of microbes, always ordered to be cleaned anew until they were spotless. Once when he was having dinner with his friend Godowsky, he kept switching the plates……. ‘It is the vaiter, Lep … I’m sure he’s one of Paderewski’s Polish patriots, who have come to poison me!’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 42, second paragraph: “While in St. Petersburg, Pachmann also spent time with his brother Simon, through whom he was able to secure an invitation to play for Alexander III. The czarina gifted him with an Etruscan arabesque vase, yet it was the jewels worn to his concerts by the czar that made the greater impression on the pianist and that prompted him to begin collecting precious stones himself.”
Blickstein: “A Two Year Honeymoon” (No. 9), pgs. 86, third paragraph and 89, third paragraph: “While in St. Petersburg Vladimir visited his brother Simon, who now held the exalted position of Private Counselor to the Czar. Through Simon, Vladimir was able to secure an invitation to play at the court of Alexander III. The opulence and medieval splendor of the court created an impression which he never forgot. The jewells (sic) worn by the Emperor and Emperess (sic) – - particularly the famous blue diamond of the Czar – - haunted him for years until he possessed one like it. His efforts to purchase a blue diamond provided the impetus that began him collecting uncut gems….After the performance the Czar presented him with a ring and the Czarina with ‘a handsome Etruscan vase, which she had bought at the Moscow exhibition,’ as one inquiring writer reported.”
* ** * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 107, first paragraph: “On other occasions, Cesco was pressed into service as a page turner. He would then find himself onstage with Pachmann, the recipient of the running commentary that the pianist usually directed at the audience. ‘Isn’t that passage beautiful?’ Pachmann might say, or ‘Listen to this phrase.’ As the concert progressed, he would become more confiding, even – from the perspective of the astute audience member – confessional: ‘I am sorry I kept you awake complaining last night,’ Pachmann told Cesco during one concert….”
Blickstein: “Cesco” (No. 17), pg. 5, second paragraph: “While Cesco was primarily concerned with the practical aspects of Vlady’s career, sometimes he found himself involved in its artistic side as well. Pachmann might need his services as a page turner when occasionally he used music. Cesco would then find himself on stage with the pianist, and all the comments that he usually gave to his audience were now reserved for his private secretary: ‘Isn’t that passage beautiful, Cesco?’ or ‘Listen to this phrase.’ But as the concert progressed he became more confiding; ‘I’m sorry,’ he’d say, ‘I kept you awake complaining last night….My fourth finger’s wonderful today…Just perfect!’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 107, first paragraph: “…At one stopover, the pianist was awakened very late at night by what he thought was the sound of mice scratching. Afraid to strike a match to light his lamp, much less summon Cesco in the adjoining room, Pachmann remained upright in his bed until morning, when Cesco came to wake him up. He developed a high fever, and the concert had to be cancelled. A few days later, Pachmann decided to tell his audience about the incident, explaining that because Cesco had failed to block up the chimney, ‘mice came down in the night’….”
Blickstein: “Cesco” (No. 17), Pgs. 14 and 15, last and then first paragraphs: “When the pianist returned to England in 1908, he again toured the provinces. The night before his recital in Liverpool, he was awakened about midnight by the sound of scratching of mice – so he thought. Terrified, he raised himself to a sitting position, without daring to strike a match or summon help from his secretary in the adjoining room. He remained in that position until daybreak when Cesco found him in a state of nervous exhaustion. He had developed a high fever from fear, and the concert had to be cancelled. A few days later, at his next appearance, in Eastbourne, he couldn’t wait to tell his audience about the incident. Cesco had to bear the blame, for Vlady confided to his audience in between chords: ‘My secretary, he eez quite mad. In my room in the hotel, he not block-up chimney – mice come down in the night.’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 107, second paragraph: “One curious result of Pachmann’s new connection with Cesco was that it aggravated a tendency toward hypochondria in the pianist that would only worsen as he grew older. This was ironic because, in spite of his fear of ‘microbes,’ Pachmann was blessed with remarkably good health. Nonetheless, he was forever taking his pulse or complaining, ‘I’ve got a pain’ or ‘It’s my heart – it dropped.’ He was especially preoccupied with the state of his liver, which he pronounced ‘leevair.’ (He sometimes admitted that he feigned ill health so that people would pity him….”
Blickstein: “Cesco” (No. 17), pg. 5, first paragraph: “… Though small, he was compactly built and was blessed with remarkable health throughout his life. Yet Cesco never heard him say he was well. He was forever counting his pulse or complaining, ‘I’ve got a pain – here’ or ‘It’s my heart – it’s dropped’ or ‘It’s my “leevaire”. When Cesco asked him why he always complained, he’d reply: ‘I tell people I’m sick so they’d pity me.’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 27, fourth paragraph: “….Although he would have other pupils…..a Miss Stillwell, whom he was reputed to have ordered to lie on the floor under the piano in order to observe his pedaling…”
Blickstein: “Berlin Days” (No. 12), pg. 1, second paragraph: “A Miss Stillwell, a pretty American girl who lived in Berlin, had heard of his sorrow and begged to take lessons. She agreed to pay for four or five lessons in advance. At first he refused, but was soon persuaded and began a most unusual series of lessons. He would forget his grief when teaching and lost himself in his eccentricities. He would take a candle and set it on the floor underneath the instrument and ask the poor girl to lie flat on her back ‘to observe his pedalling.’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 184, second paragraph: “In 1930, Pachmann was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His doctor’s prognosis was optimistic: He assured the pianist that if he submitted to surgery, he would live to a great age. Fearing that this surgery would not only render him impotent but affect his hands and his ability to play the piano, however, he refused treatment…”
Blickstein: “A Relic from the Past” (No. 28), pg. 3, third paragraph: “After completing his final tour in the fall in 1928, Papy became ill with a prostate condition. The doctors were optimistic and told him that if he had an operation, he would love to a very great age, for his whole family had lived long lives. But superstitious and childlike, the old artist somehow felt what that if the operation were performed, it would affect his hands and kill his playing. He would not submit to it….”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 175, fourth paragraph: “(That he took no exercise in Italy is not strictly true. He played golf – there is a photograph from this period showing him putting – although he preferred cards: Patience, which Adrian had taught him, and Whist, during one game of which he surprised his fellow players by asking them to show him their hands.)”
Blickstein: “Melted in America” (No. 26), pgs. 4, then 6 and 7: “…As a golfer he was of course unique, for he limited his practice to putting….He had developed a liking for whist. When he was visiting Lionel Powell in Shropshire during the war, he would spend many evenings playing with him and Cesco. He was a very unconventional player and would ask them, ‘What do you have, Cesco?’ and ‘What’s do you have, Lionel?’….His son Adrian had taught him one and two-deck patience.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 74, sixth paragraph: “If these were uneventful years – at least publicly – for Pachmann, however (about all we know is that he dined with Busoni and Carreño in Berlin, in June 1898), they were less so for Maggie….”
Blickstein: “Berlin Days” (No. 12), pg. 4: “Ferruccio Busoni wrote Vlady a letter dated June 19, 1898 cannilly (sic) adressed (sic) to ‘The famous pianist Vladimir de Pachmann.’ It’s hard to imagine Busoni having much admiration for Vlady or his act, but he invited him to dinner in his apt with Teresa Carreño….”
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 186, third paragraph: “It was Pachmann’s hope that his recordings would keep his memory alive. ‘I shall not be forgotten,’ he said not long before he died. ‘And when your children and grandchildren ask you, “Who was this de Pachmann?” you will be able to show them how he played . . . And though they cannot see me, they will hear my voice through my music and then they will know why all the world worshipped de Pachmann.’”
Blickstein: “Epilogue” (No. 29), pg. 15: “But I shall not be forgotten, I have made some Gramophone records. And when your children and grandchildren ask you, ‘Who was this de Pachmann,’ you will be able to show them how he played and understood the works of Chopin, And though thye cannot see me, they will hear my voice through my music . . .and then they will know why all the world worshipped de Pachmann.’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 151, fourth paragraph: “…and demanded the removal of unattractive persons from the audience on threat of canceling the performance…”
Blickstein: “Return to Britain” (No. 24), pgs. 9 paragraph 6 and 10 paragraph two: “…Now he could not bear to look at the faces of some of his less-attractive admirers as they sat on stage during his performances. Sometimes he would demand the offending person be removed from his sight…gesticulating wildly: ‘Cancel the concert! Cancel the concert!’…”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 170, second paragraph: “…The slightest provocation, especially from a reporter, was enough to set him off, so much so that Cesco now introduced members of the fourth estate as writers, architects, or even ‘actors who love music….’
Blickstein: “The Unredeeming Glory” (No. 25), second pg.# 1, just after pg. 21, third paragraph: “His weariness increased as the days passed, and now when he was interviewed, Cesco had to resort to introduce reporters to the old man as ‘writers,’ or ‘architects’ and ‘actors who love music…..’”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 172, fourth paragraph: “Of the more than $2 million that Pachmann earned for his 110 concerts on this last tour of a New World that had never seemed newer or more remote from the one into which he had been born, Cesco claimed half for himself, ostensibly to pay for the upkeep of the Villa Gioia and the work on the Villa Virgilio…”
Blickstein: “Melted in America” (No. 26), pg. 1, first paragraph: “Papy remained in America two years and playing in public more often than ever before, occasionally as many as five concerts a week. For these two years Baldwin agreed to pay him two million dollars. Of this sum, Cesco took half for the upkeep of the Villa Gioia and for the building of the new Villa in Rome….”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 24, third paragraph: “…It did not hurt that the audience at this concert included the future King Edward VII, who took an immediate liking to Pachmann and presented him with a box of Havana cigars…”
Blickstein: “The Birth of Pachmannia” (No. 8), pg. 71, first paragraph: “The ‘Royal Party’ consisted of the Prince and Princess of Wales, whose friendship with Vladimir began after that concert. The Prince in particular was so enthusiastic that he sent Vladimir a box of cigars…”
* ** * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 184, second paragraph: “…In addition, while in America, he had developed a strabismus in his right eye (it would not focus in line with his left eye). ‘I don’t see so well with this eye,’ he told his audiences, ‘ but the other one’s all right. I don’t have to see.’”
Blickstein: “A Relic from the Past” (No. 28), pg. 9, second paragraph: “…While he was in America one of his eyes had severely crossed, outwardly, giving his face a strange, unusual look. (He told his American audiences, ‘I don’t see so well with this eye, but the other one’s alright . . . I don’t have to see.’)…”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 185: “A male nurse, a relative of Cesco’s, was now hied to take care of Pachmann. If the intention of this play was to free Cesco from some of his duties, however, it backfired, for Pachmann soon developed an intense attachment to the nurse, to whom he gave his jewels. Cesco is supposed to have chased down his relative in order to retrieve the jewels…”
Blickstein: “A Relic from the Past” (No. 28) pgs. 3 and 4: “…For the next four years he had to have a male nurse take care of him. This man, a relative of Cesco’s, was a Iago-like character to ingratiated himself with the old pianist and made him sign over his jewel collection, an agreement which, after Papy’s death, Cesco had to go to court to have nullified.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 184, fourth paragraph: “Whenever Pachmann expressed his anguish, Cesco tried to reassure him by telling him that he would live to be a hundred. Yes, Pachmann would reply, he did think that he would live to be a hundred – and that he would play many concerts still. Tomorrow, he promised, he would write to Lionel Powell to make arrangements. But tomorrows passed in quick succession, the years vanishing in this sad ceremony of postponement.”
Blickstein: “A Relic from the Past” (No. 28), pg. 4, paragraph two: “Although Papy did not suffer greatly, the disease was debilitating. Cesco would try to sooth him: ‘Don’t worry, Papy, you will live to be one hundred.’ ‘Do you really think so. My legs are getting thinner.’ But when he felt better: ‘Yes, I think I will live to be one hundred. . . and then we go to London and give a concert!’ It had become an obsession with him, and before retiring each night he would murmur, ‘I have studied the London program . . . tomorrow we will write to Powell to arrange a concert?’ But one tomorrow followed the next, and that one became the following, and this the years vanished in a sad ceremony.”
Almost all of the information conveyed in these paragraphs came from Blickstein’s interviews with Cesco Pallottelli and have no other source. Mitchell gives no source, but as one can see, he merely lifted the information from Blickstein’s manuscript.
Mitchell: pg. 118, fourth paragraph: “Pachmann once quipped that Adelina Patti made so many farewell tours because on them she ‘fared so well.’ He might have been speaking of his own ‘farewell tours’ of America, of which the 1911-12 tour was the latest….”
Blickstein: “The Last of the Chopinzee” (No. 19), pg. 1, first paragraph: “It was said of Adelina Patti that she made so many farewell tours because, at these concerts, she ‘fared so well.’ One might say this of Pachmann, for never did he fare so well as on his American ‘Farewell Tour’ of 1911-12…..”
Mitchell is getting sloppy in his theft here – it was not Pachmann who uttered this well-known quip, but the slip hasn’t prevented Mitchell from stealing it.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 151, fourth paragraph: “…Indeed, even those who in the past had been indulgent of him found cause to complain. He kept his audience waiting for half an hour (‘In Russia my concerts always begin half an hour late,’ he explained – although he had not played in Russia for many long years). He refused to play certain encores….”
Blickstein: “Return to Britain” (No. 24), pg. 22-8, second paragraph: “…Even the most indulgent could find cause to complain. Now, not only did he keep his audiences waiting [crossed out in Blickstein manuscript]: (‘In Russia my concerts always begin a half hour late,’ he confided to them)] but even refused to play certain encores…..”
MITCHELL FALSELY CLAIMING A SOURCE OTHER THAN BLICKSTEIN
Mitchell: Page 31, last paragraph, sixth line: “…he discouraged his pupils, even Maggie, from speaking much about how he taught them. Nonetheless, Maggie shared some of her memories with their son, Lionel, who shared them with several interviewers. As a teacher, Pachmann was unreliable and would often cancel lessons at the last minute, claiming to have a headache or to have to prepare for a concert.…”
Maggie Pachmann did publish a long article detailing her lessons with Pachmann; however the article did not contain this specific information. Blickstein’s manuscript did contain it, in many of the the same words.
Blickstein: “The Birth of Pachmannia” (No. 8), Page 77, second paragraph: “… as a teacher Vladimir was unpredictable. When she arrived for a lesson he might say, ‘I have a splitting headache,’ or ‘I must prepare for a concert, come back tomorrow….’”
Mitchell’s comment that her son “shared them with several interviewers…” is incorrect – Maggie’s article is the only published source for information about these lessons, and that article does not contain this information. It came from Blickstein’s interview with the pianist’s son. Mitchell’s intent in writing this appears to be to suggest he had a source for this information other than Blickstein’s manuscript, but he doesn’t give that source; in fact, he swiped the information from Blickstein, substituting the word “unreliable” for Blickstein’s “unpredictable,” and used Blickstein’s words “…prepare for a concert.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: pg. 134, first paragraph: “In all the years that he visited London, if he did not rent a house or a flat, Pachmann stayed at the Hotel Ronveau at 2-3 Golden Square (near Piccadilly Circus, at the south end of Carnaby Street); his wedding reception had been held there, and he had become closed to the French wife of the hotel’s proprietor, Peter Leon. By 1914, however, the Ronveau had lost its lease and been pulled down, and ‘Madame Peter’ was living again in France. At the end of the season, Pachmann hired a touring car that sped along at the then extraordinary speed of forty miles per hour and visited her in the great cathedral town of Troyes, whence he and Cesco continued on to the Haute Savoie to spend the summer in a house they had rented on Lake d’Annecy. Powell visited, as did Pachmann’s sons Lionel and Adrian (the more athletic of the two), with whom Pachmann was photographed. It is an odd picture, full of unease; Pachmann is seated, with his sons standing behind him. All three are dressed in casual suits and wear hats that obscure their expressions. Neither son rests a hand on their father’s shoulder, which would have been not only a comfortable but a conventional pose.”
Blickstein: “The Summer Before the Storm” (No. 20), pgs.5 and 6, beginning paragraph one: Crossed out in Blickstein manuscript, but visible: [“In all the years he had been visiting London Pachmann had always stayed at the Hotel Ronveau on Golden Square, whose proprietress, Mme. Peter, had been one of his closest friends.] When Papy returned to London in 1913, much to his dismay, he found that the Hotel Ronveau had lost its lease and had been torn down, and Mme. Peter had returned to France. Papy impulsively decided to visit her. At the end of the season, he hired a touring car, a monster of 400 horsepower, and at the phenomenal rate of forty miles an hour he and Cesco motored through France, where they stayed long enough to visit with Mme. Peter in Troyes and then continued on to Lac d’Anncy in the Haute Savoie. Papy liked the climate so much that he had Cesco rent a house, and they stayed there for the summer. He invited Lionel Powell from London. Cesco asked some of his friends from Rome, and Leonide and Adrian came from Paris for a visit.” AND Blickstein: “The Birth of Pachmannia” (No. 8), pg. 81, paragraph two: “Vladimir and Maggie were married on April 30th, 1884 in a Russian Orthodox ceremony and again, for her parents’ sake, in an Anglican ceremony. A reception took place at Vladimir’s beloved Hotel Ronveau….”
For several reasons this is one of the more interesting citations of Mitchell’s thefts from Blickstein - unusual is the fact that Mitchell has added two bits of original research, namely Madame Peter’s husband’s name, and irrelevant details of the location of Golden Square. Of greater interest is Mitchell’s curious detailed description of a photograph that for unexplained reasons he did not include in the photo section of his book. He did not have a copy of the photo to include, but had access to a fairly clear Xerox of the photo in the copy of Blickstein’s manuscript (bottom pg. 6 of “Summer Before the Storm”); it can be seen in the copy of the manuscript submitted with this case against Mitchell. The other information cited here all came from Blickstein’s interviews with Leonide (“Lionel”) de Pachmann and Cesco Pallottelli, and again, was never published anywhere and can be found nowhere but in the Blickstein manuscript; again, no source for the information is listed by Mitchell.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell: Page 36, second paragraph: “…Lionel de Pachmann grew up hearing that Liszt was present at Pachmann’s debut in Budapest – not merely present, in fact, but an actor in the drama. Upon the conclusion of Pachmann’s performance of a Chopin sonata, Liszt is said to have risen and told the audience, ‘Those who have never heard Chopin before are hearing him this evening.’….”
Blickstein: “Alone on a Mountaintop” (No. 5), Page 56, first paragraph: “…Liszt walked to the center of the hall and doffed his hat, announcing to the hushed audience with the most winning courtliness, a manner in which he excelled, ‘Those who have never heard Chopin before are hearing him this evening!’…”
Mitchell implies he has this information from de Pachmann’s son. The information did indeed come from the son, but was told to Blickstein in 1960. It was published once in an article “More Than A Clown” which Blickstein wrote for High Fidelity magazine in 1969. Mitchell does not list the article as a source. It is possible Mitchell took the information from the article, but it appears he did not know about it (it is not listed in his bibliography) and that he took the information from Blickstein’s unpublished manuscript.
Mitchell, pg. 106: “If something about the preparation or presentation of a dish was not to his liking, Pachmann would return it to the kitchen peremptorily. (Particularly offensive to him were hard meat, cold rolls, and coffee served in a metal pot.) "
Blickstein, “Cesco” (No. 17), pg. 4 : “’The butter is no good. The meat is too hard. Why aren’t the rolls hot,’” he complained, not softly but shouting at the top of his voice so that the whole room could hear. Cesco cringed with embarrassment, but more was yet to come. At breakfast in the morning, he’d shout: ‘Why aren’t my eggs brown? Where’s the hot cream for my coffee? No, don’t serve it to me in that!’ (He hated to have coffee made in a metal pot.) ‘Take it away!’” AND Blickstein, “The Voluptuist” (No. 15), pg. 2: “He was very difficult to please , for the food had to be cooked to his precise specifications; it would be returned if the smallest details in its preparation and presentation were wrong.”
“…The pianist cherished them because they had grown old with him and shared his memories. ‘Anyone is young once, ‘ he said. ‘Genius is eternal. That is why women, who always know the meaning of eternity, prefer genius to youth….’”
Blickstein, “The Golden Age” (No. 16), pg. 7, fourth and fifth paragraphs:
“They grew old with him, sharing all his memories, and towards the end of his life, when adoration was crucial for him, he came to think of them differently. ‘Anyone is young once. Genius is eternal. That is why women, who always know the meaning of eternity, prefer genius to youth.’”
The quote from Pachmann comes from an article in the Saturday Review by Conrad Bercovici; it was not so identified in Blickstein’s manuscript, and is not so identified in Mitchell’s book.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mitchell, from his first, unpublished draft “The Chopinzee, The Life and Times of Vladimir de Pachmann,” pg. 43: “In Pachmann’s album of photographs there was one of a handsome youth. He forms a central part of the story of these years.”
Blickstein: “The Birth of Pachmaninia” (No. 8) pg. 5, first paragraph: “…There is ample evidence from later in his life that women held little attraction for Pachmann, but the only evidence of attraction to men from this early period is a photo of a handsome Russian youth dating from the time of Pachmann’s adolescence. This mysterious photo which the author saw when it was in the possession of Leonide de Pachmann was kept in a most treasured album, along with pictures of his early musical life.”
This is information Blickstein obtained from his interviews with Leonide de Pachmann, and could be found no where else. Although Mitchell did not include it in his final version, he did in his initial draft sent to I.U. Press.