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Quotes about Lhévinne
- A fellow student of Rachmaninoff's at the Moscow Conservatory, Lhevinne studied with Safonoff and made his debut in the Emperor Concerto with Anton Rubinstein conducting. As early as 1906 he made his American debut. (That was the year a young man named Arthur Rubinstein came over for the first time.) Lhevinne's remarkable powers were quickly recognized. His tone was like the morning stars singing together, his technique was flawless even measured against the fingers of Hofmann and Rachmaninoff, and his musicianship was sensitive. He was one of the modern romantics who did not have to pull music apart to get its message across. Even when he played Chopin's Etude in thirds and the octave Etude in B minor―his double notes and octaves were fabulous―he never tried to make a stunt of the music. One of his little tricks, the utmost he would permit himself in the way of outward panache, was to take the octave glissandos of the Brahms Paganini Variations prestissimo, staccato and pianissimo. He accomplished this, one guesses, with a rigidly tight wrist that was propelled by sheer nervous impulses. It provided a quasi-glissando that sounds impossible of achievement; but Lhevinne did it, to the amazement of pianists who heard him, and to the utter disbelief of those who didn't.
- Harold C. Schonberg, The Great Pianists