It was really fun to read your answers, I find my own thougths so many times.
Good to know I am not alone with screwing up the last bars. But this is Murphys Law: the last bar often are musical fireworks and therefore challenging.
Good to know I am not alone with stopping playing after a few bars if I think I can do it better - or because of a silly mistake. Throwing away only a few seconds of playing time doesn't count it as attempt.
Overall it seems as there is a transition over time from trying to make a perfect recording (beginners) to accepting it never happens and live with a good one (experienced). And the better the player, the less attempts are needed anyway. Interestingly nobody said option D: (1st attempt is perfect, anyway). Seems that everyone
has a kind of over-critical self awareness.
However, once I have made a recording that is almost, almost as good as I want it to be, it is hard, because while playing the piece one more time, I often find myself thinking that I played better on the previous recording and then it feels meaningless to finish the piece.
Also, after I have one complete play through without major errors I think: "if I mess up then I can always use that take". That makes me more relaxed and I can usually play better after that.
Yes, I faced both ideas at the same time.
I will add a 3rd option: Have an almost perfect go (expression and so), but make a fatal mistake near the end. In this case all other future recordings are doomed to be that good, just without that mistake. This is the worst situation in my head. The only thing that is taking pressure from me is to know, I need only a good ending and I could cheat and cut both attempts into one single video. With two cameras it's easy, just do it by switching between them.
And I don't fall back to an earlier good attempt. Because this means all later attempts are just lost time. And I hate it to search through my video-files. Throwing away the earlier attempts is easy, I count them as practice. Until now, my final take was always the last attempt, even if it wasn't the best. Anyway: what is the best one? Having good expression and fun listening to it or have it error free but sounding mechanical dead? For me it's a compromise leaning towards expression and the errors must be acceptable.
A beginner piece usually don't need too many retakes.
I'll see with October recital
Unless you are a beginner of course...
(btw: thanks for the themed recital idea, this is a great one!)
And here remains the obvious thing: The more experience one has, the more secure the playing is, the less attempts are required. And the strategy changes over time. I agree to Jason's approach playing only 3 attempts because after that it gets worse. But for beginners this probably won't work - we simply need more time and more luck.