Classical music became progressively more integrated in Armand’s artistic endeavors. “Great music has great logic and form,” he explained. “It has architectural structure and melody. It builds to a climax. Music gives me a sense of composition” (Dornbush/Zandstra Interview, 7-10-02). He never painted in silence. Most beloved were Schnabel’s piano concertos. Whenever Schnabel was on an American tour in the 1940s and early 1950s, Armand would do everything possible to attend.

Especially poignant are memories of his last contact with Schnabel who, shortly before his death in 1951, was about to perform one of his last concerts. Armand met him in his Cleveland hotel room distraught and worried not only about his ability to perform, but also about the position of the stage lights. He feared they would cause a blinding glare on the keyboard that would sabotage his already weakened eyesight and cause unbearable pain, particularly in the public spotlight. In an effort to save Schnabel from disaster, Armand rushed to the auditorium and knocked on the back door until a janitor came. He implored the janitor to dim the lights. That evening he waited in the wings “on pins and needles” until Schnabel walked on stage, poised and confident, bowing to an applauding audience. What followed was one of Schnabel’s more unforgettable performances, filled with passion, precision, and--best of all--the clear-eyed vision and artistic integrity that Armand so admired.

After the performance of the concerto, amid the sustained applause and shouts of approval, Schnabel walked to the wings and sat beside Armand while the Cleveland Orchestra played Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 in C Minor. All through the performance, in a jubilant spirit, he beat time on his knee and whispered to Armand, making sure he’d appreciate key passages as they unfolded.

Later, Armand recalled: “He made the greatest statement toward the end of his life: ‘I can deem to play only that music which is greater than it can be played.’ And that’s the key. It’s greater than it can be played” Dornbush/Zandstra Interview, 6-14-04). Armand took this to heart regarding his own work and his sense of artistic integrity.