La Mer stands at the center of Debussy's achievement. Described by the composer as "a seascape without figures," it is arguably the greatest and most original French symphony. In this study, La Mer is considered in the context of Debussy's personal and musical development. Detailed discussion of performance styles draw on current recordings, and two analytical chapters trace the growth of ideas through the work. Studies of rhythm, motif and tonality show how Debussy generates "narratives" across the three movements.
"With its many examples of music, six pages of footnotes, and select bibliography, this is a very rewarding study of a complex work that has profoundly affected the music of our century." Choice "This book certainly will appeal to the audience of knowledgeable music lovers for which it is intended, and it should be required reading for conductors. For this reason it will be of interest to general libraries and music-trade professionals." Richard S. Parks, Book Reviews