One of my all-time favorite pieces of music – of any kind- is Claude Debussy’s La Mer. The reasons why I love this piece have nothing to do with the fact that it’s one of the masterpieces of the 20th century. When I first heard it, I thought it was a mess. And that was enough to hook me.
It was the first time I heard ‘classical’ music that strayed from the strict rules I saw it bound by as a young teenager. It’s not Bach or Mozart at all. It’s not Wagner or Mahler (thankfully). My grandmother heard about my love of this piece, and for my 16th birthday, gave me a cassette (!) of the Eugene Ormandy/Philadelphia Orchestra recording.