Coming in from an R&B and disco background (the music of my childhood, which I still love), wanting to play under a steady beat is part of me, and to hear folks of the likes of Edgar Meyer assert the value of playing music this way is something I agree with very strongly. I, for one, feel the metronome has always been an essential part of my development as an aspiring musician. But in the classical music world, it's not common for me to hear this. I don't mean that the tempo will speed up or slow down for a musical effect, I'm talking about folks playing together seamlessly. I hear it often - those virtuoso lines get rushed, and relaxed, romantically delivered lines drag - and it really challenges people's ability to stay together rhythmically and pull things off that are meant to happen collectively. Is my complaint here not taking into account that there may be 100 or more people playing onstage, and it's simply unrealistic to expect the kind of metronomic perfection I'm accustomed to when I'm, say, hearing a disco song, where perhaps 5 or 6 people are playing together behind a consistently delivered drum beat? Learning classical music and developing the techiques to pull that music off challenge me immensely...am I rather not seeing the big picture, where the folks who can pull this music off have gone beyond playing with a steady beat and are challenging each other with cat-and-mouse games rhythmically to shed off boredom?