The ensemble Tempo Rubato (Italian for stolen time)owes its name to the musical practice of diverging from the unrelenting and gradual rhythm for a short period of time in a piece, allowing for solo freedom. Time withdrawn must sooner or later be given back.Strictly speaking,it is not a matter of stealing but more of borrowing. Its historical origins go back to baroque sources,where it was first detected.At the beginning of the 20th century, this playing technique emigrated toward jazz and its kin,and it then became a vital and central element in music making. Time,an irreversible and irretrievable lapse of the present, characterizes one of the essential parameters of music. Additionally,it is one of the most enigmatic phenomena;one that we all believe we understand,and yet we can hardly explain it.