This question of tempo, and musical interpretation generally, forces an interesting question: Who should choose the tempo: the creator (composer) or the interpreter (conductor)? This point was at issue in a heated exchange between composer Maurice Ravel and famous conductor Arturo Toscanini after the American premiere of Bolero in 1929. Ravel thought Toscanini took the music far too fast. What do you think? Who should determine the tempo, dynamic levels, and shaping of a piece of music?




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