In his Traité de l’expression musicale of 1874, Mathis Lussy proposes that musical expression is implicit in the musical surface and therefore that sensitive performers respond to the same surface in the same manner. Through an analysis of the opening song of Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben based on Lussy’s theory, this paper explores Lussy’s proposition. Following the analysis, twelve recordings of this song made over the past 45 years are compared. Lussy’s proposition is correct with respect to variations of tempo. However, this same comparison reveals that two very different interpretive models of this song exist when one considers how these variations of tempo aid in the projection of the formal structure. There would appear to be a correlation between a “poetic” model and recordings from the 1940s and 1950s, and between a “prosaic” model and recordings from the 1970s.