I think it’s fair to say that COVID has made all us single people a little thirsty. Some of us have been preparing for a music history exam at the same time. Which leads me to the following investigation. Of the most famous dead composers, who was hot and who was not?
For the purposes of this post, we will look at hot dead Romantic-era composers.
- Felix Mendelssohn
PROS: A brilliant pianist and composer, he also spoke several languages and was a master chess player. He dropped out of law school to pursue music, but was one of those guys who was so smart he could have done anything. He was also from a rich Jewish family 🙂
CONS: Prone to fits of rage.
VERDICT: HOT – I would totally swoon for this guy and need lots of therapy.
2. Fanny Mendelssohn
PROS: Fanny was not only a musical prodigy, she was also a badass babe who eventually was one of the first female composers to publish her own works under her own name, against the wishes of her family. Previously she had been publishing under her brother Felix’s name, and many of her works are falsely attributed to him. She also helped him out, like A LOT with his composing.
CONS: Constantly pressured to commit herself to family and marriage over composing, and probably would have had a much greater output had it not been for sexist BS.
VERDICT: HOT HOT HOT!!! This gene pool is brilliant, gorgeous, and dead by 40!
3. Richard Wagner
PROS: A brooding, passionate Romantic visionary, this guy would pay attention to the little details as well as the big picture. His innovative “Ring Cycle,” Der Ring des Nibelungen is a series of four three-hour operas, meant to be performed back-to-back over four nights, for which he created an entire festival and built a specially designed theatre, over 20 years. The guy had patience and stamina. But his Gesamtkunstwerk approach to opera placed the music on equal footing with the staging, costumes, set design, and every other element of the show. He definitely thought big.
CONS: Constantly in debt, cheated on his partners, and pretty anti-semitic.
VERDICT: NOT HOT. How are you going to tell your mom that you’re dating Hitler’s favourite composer?
4. Clara Schumann, née Wieck
PROS: Besides being drop-dead gorgeous, she was a piano prodigy who definitely marched to the beat of her own drummer. When daddy disapproved of her marriage to composer and his live-in pupil Robert Schumann, they got a court order allowing her to marry him the night before her 21st birthday—the day she would have been legally allowed to do so without her father’s permission anyway. Up yours, dad! She also famously ran across a Dresden battlefield to save her children during the 1849 uprising.
CONS: Having stood by Robert through his mental and physical deterioration, raising their children almost single-handedly, and advocating for his work well after he died—and she never remarried—this woman was definitely taken.
VERDICT: HOT MAMA.
5. Franz Liszt
PROS: Franz Liszt was the Slash of his time. He was tall, brilliantly talented, and had very, very long fingers. He was a generous teacher, often taking on pupils or giving master classes for free. He helped his friends out when they were in a bind, including helping Wagner escape to Switzerland because of his controversial political activism. As a conductor, he promoted many forward-thinking composers including Hector Berlioz and Frédéric Chopin.
CONS: Bit of a player. The rock star of his age, he was a ladies man who had numerous affairs. He fathered children by a few different woman, one of whom was married to someone else.
VERDCIT: HOT for a good time, not a long time.