A simple request

Humorists Ilf and Petrov described a concert by Rachmaninoff In New York (November 1935):

The night we went to hear him he appeared tall, bent, and thin, with a long sad face, his hair closely clipped; he sat down at the piano, separated the folds of his old-fashioned back swallowtail, adjusted one of his cuffs with his large hand and turned to the audience.  His expression seemed to say: “Yes, I am an unfortunate exile and obliged to play before you for your contemptible dollars, and for this humiliation i ask very little – silence.

Cited in: Bertensson, Sergei & Leyda, Jay (2001) Sergei Rachmaninoff: A Lifetime in music.  Bloomington: Indianna University Press, p.315.