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It's all about the music, dude! Sit down, relax and listen to some tunes.

RE: Improv scares me

I'll have to look that one up. Harold Schonberg was a longtime friend of my father's and I got to meet and talk music with him. My copy of The Great Composers has a nice inscription from him to me: "from a thumper to a tootler" (he was an amateur pianist). He had an encyclopedic knowledge and near-photographic memory when it came to music history, and he was a great writer and all-around brilliant guy to boot.
But he was not a great or even a very good musician. He was a great journalist. He became famous for his coverage of the Bobby Fischer - Boris Spassky world championship chess match, though he was no chess champion either. The comment about Debussy seems odd, as Debussy was supposedly a fanatic about players following his score as closely as possible, once famously shouting during a rehearsal he was conducting of his own music: "No improvisation! I don't need it."

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