I have recently been exploring the life, work and times of that great honorary Englishman, Sir Charles Hallé. There are so many books, articles and news report that refer to him, it is hard to know where to begin. However, in an old book entitled Manchester Old & New I found this delicious anecdote. It is worth sharing. This anecdote does not appear to come from the Autobiography of Charles Hallé with correspondence and diaries.
“When first he came to England [Hallé] had letters of introduction to various people of standing. ‘One of them,’ he has said, ‘afterwards a Minister of State, invited me to his house, and asked me to play something to his friends. Of course, I was anxious to do so, but I was startled when on leaving he asked me a few questions, amongst others in what style I played. It was difficult to understand what he meant, so he named another eminent pianist , and said, 'Do you play in his style?' and I honestly said 'No,' upon which he said, 'I am so glad, because he plays so loud that he prevents the ladies from talking'!" Of course ,all this is entirely past. People never talk nowadays the moment a pianist begins to play.