Tempo Rubato as defined in Wikipedia:
“Tempo rubato (free in the presentation, Italian for: stolen time) is a musical term referring to expressive and rhythmic freedom by a slight speeding up and then slowing down of the tempo of a piece at the discretion of the soloist or the conductor.”
I think of it in ebb and flow terms with phrases breathed in and out of cadences in a musically extemporaneous way but not overly exaggerated. From my perspective, tempo rubato should be tastefully applied in the Romantic genre. (Though freely rendered phrases can characterize music from other historical eras as well.)
As it played out, one of my adult students, who had conscientiously layered her learning process over months, was now ready to polish and nuance the Waltz in tempo rubato framing.
Our mutual explorations were recorded: