When I first heard "Rhapsody In Blue" properly (which is to say, alone, with headphones, turned up loud), it was absolutely perfect. It was fireworks in my brain; every note was perfect and it made me cry just from the new neuro-pathways being formed. I felt like a robot, previously in "sleep" mode being activated for the first time.
An interesting dilemma, the track I was listening to was an mp3 from some random website or file-share. I didn't exactly know whose rendition it was. It was probably Leonard Bernstein and whatever Philharmonic he was conducting, but when I lost the mp3 file and attempted to replace it, there was a fairly devastating few months during which I found out the hard way that there's no "official" cut of "Rhapsody In Blue". A very modern dilemma, to be sure, one which probably ought to be seen as a boon--a postmodernist's delight. Unfortunately, every mp3 I could find was slightly off from that first one that I had burned into my consciousness. Every cut is a different group of 35 whatnot people with a different conductor, so it was never going to sound exactly the same. And each cut had its own character, but each was a disappointment because it failed to mimic exactly that prototype in my head, that first one.
This hedonistic devotion to a prototype is probably the very same lure which drives all of the emotional ideologies.
And finally, some six years later, I'm only now able to start enjoying the various riffs on this classic, and the different personalities that come through each and every unique cut. It's a new type of meta-pleasure: I suspect that what I'm enjoying about freedom from my own emotional prescriptions is the intoxicating sensation of real-time evolution.