One evening at a gathering
of friends, Franz Liszt was playing one of Chopin's Nocturnes, when he took the
liberty of adding some embellishments. Chopin was rather dismayed and commented,
"I beg you, my dear friend, when you do me the honor of playing my compositions,
play them as written or not at all." Liszt replied, "then play them yourself."
"With pleasure," answered Chopin. And played he did. He improvised for over an
hour. When he left the piano, the audience was in tears and Liszt commented,
"you were right. Works like yours ought not be meddled with. Other people's
alterations only spoil them. You are a true poet!"