Goethe once said that the happiest genius is the one, who can perceive and absorb everything without the slightest detriment to oneself. “For me, a tube of paint is the means by which I enter another’s skin, even if that object is a simple glass of water. It enables comprehending all forms of existence...” (Arsen Levonee). Dedicated to one of the greatest pianists in history, Vladimir Horowitz.

While playing Alexander Scriabin’s music, Horowitz would jokingly say “If I faint, please lift me up”.


Lucas Debargue knocks out the audience by his extreme emotions, which he never hides while playing the piano. Along with velvety play and an unusually crystalline sound of his piano, this young man shows an exceptional modesty along with exceptional emotionality. And his modesty, which is comparable to that of Horowitz, resonates with extreme emotionality against the backdrop of cold as ice Horowitz. I am fascinated both by the fire that Lucas sets out, and the ice that Horowitz spreads. After all, it is impossible to find anything in between towards which I could remain indifferent.

During the studio recording, Horowitz could play the same piece in completely different ways… and he used to do that during the course of only several minutes! It was simply impossible to determine which execution was the best, because each seemed to exceed the limits of human performance. Interestingly, many of the composers whom Horowitz knew personally occasionally allowed him to edit their musical scores. Often after his edits, certain musical passages became impossible to perform.

Once I was fascinated by the emotional restraint of Horowitz during his frantic play, which is a musical transformation of well-known works, expressed through the sound that would charm even humor... Despite being a very down to earth man in communication, Horowitz left an impression as though he did not touch a single object throughout his life, not even the piano.

When Vladimir Horowitz played in Paris, the gendarmes were called to calm the crowd, which in ecstasy broke chairs.

Horowitz was called the great painter of sounds. That is why I glued to his chest a clean palette.


...They were playing the third concert together on two pianos – Rachmaninoff was the orchestra, and Horowitz was the soloist. Two geniuses were playing for each other. The outstanding composer and the outstanding pianist, they admired each other to the same extent.

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The history of painting "Arsen Levonee plays the piano for Vladimir Horowitz"

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Arsen Levonee

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