As the talented student grows older he must seek within himself his interpretation. Does he wish to know how to play the cantilena of Beethoven or Chopin? He must feel it himself! Talent is feeling, the feeling that every player experiences in his innermost consciousness… It takes years of work to understand and think out problems in music. Every player must ponder them and decide for himself after his conservatory training is finished.
Chopin! From the time when I was nineteen years old I felt his greatness, and I marvel at it still. He is today more modern than many moderns … he remains for me one the greatest of the giants.
– Rachmaninoff, in an interview with Florence Leonard in The Etude. Cited in: Bertensson, Sergei & Leyda, Jay (2001) Sergei Rachmaninoff: A Lifetime in Music. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, p.279.