hanysz wrote:It's reasonably common in opera, and works well in piano works that show operatic qualities (a lot of Liszt, some Chopin, occasionally in Mozart slow movements, but not Debussy or Rachmaninoff). In my opinion this sort of rubato is becoming rarer in piano playing because we tend to over-specialise: pianists don't listen to enough opera (and singers don't listen to enough instrumental music)! I haven't heard an orchestra alone doing this (at least, not deliberately), but I've heard it done by the the combination of orchestra plus voice.
This was the reason why Chopin advised all of his students to sing; he wanted his students to mimic the impassioned speech of opera when playing his music. I find that this type of rubato works well in many unexpected places in Chopin, though (for example, 25/12, where it's commonly thought to be inappropriate). It just has a totally different effect. I've also found that polyrhythm exercises are great for developing the ability, too, such as the TN etude in F minor, because they teach you to effectively separate the melody hand from the accompaniment hand (unless you take the less-musical route of constantly thinking about exactly where each note should fall).