When precision isn’t enough

Debussy was well known for wanting precision in performance. However, it was not always quite enough:

Some time in 1917 Debussy went to hear the Suite played by a famous pianist.
‘How was it?’ I asked him on his return.
‘Dreadful. He didn’t miss a note.’
‘But you ought to be satisfied. You who insist on the infallible precision of every note.’
‘Oh, not like that.’ Then emphatically, ‘Not like that.’ [Long p. 24]

Long, Marguerite (1972) At the piano with Claude Debussy. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, p. 24.

Cited at: A Piano Method by Claude Debussy. Accessed 1 July 2011.