In Lev Oborin's remembrance of his only conducting lesson with Bruno Walter, his leading of the First Symphony by Beethoven was interrupted by Walter several times with the same phrase: "Rubato spielen!" Oborin wrote: "I was somewhat surprised, as we were dealing with one of the earliest works by Beethoven, with an even motion of the triplets, and here, sud- denly,-rubato. Then this wonderful musician took the baton himself and showed how one can breathe life into this classically strict music by way of continuous, hardly noticeable deviations from the tempo."13 Clearly Walter did not have in mind an all-out rubato, which would change the principal tempo significantly. Rather, he sought an expressive flexibility, a natural musical breathing that would not upset the steadiness of the general pacing, especially when felt in larger beats.