For instance, there was one composer, J.B. Lully, who stabbed himself in the foot while onstage. He had this conducting staff that he pounded on the stage to keep time, and he got himself in the foot with it. Then he got gangrene, refused to have his foot amputated, and died. And all this from conducting classical music. The orchestra is a dangerous place to be.
(I learned about this in 4th grade when I played one of his pieces and double-checked my facts here.)
I'm sure there are plenty of other gruesome composer stories--but the one I heard yesterday is pretty darn weird.
It's about this guy.
Liszt was the first piano virtuoso. He invented the piano recital, and his must have been pretty exciting, because the Victorian ladies of the 1840s would rip up his handkerchiefs and fight over his gloves for souvenirs. Some ladies kept his coffee dregs in vials around their necks or on their dressing tables. There was one lady who picked up a cigar stump that Liszt had dropped and chained THAT around her neck. She had it put into a locket with "F.L." monogrammed in DIAMONDS on it. It smelled extremely nasty.
You know how these days people throw their underwear at rock concerts? Yeah, Liszt fangirls did that. They threw their underwear at him while he was onstage.
Stop and think about that for a minute.
Lisztomania started around 1841. Here's what your typical Liszt fangirl would be wearing to his concert.
Leaving aside the fact that this was the early Victorian era, reknowned for its propriety--how the heck did they even get their underwear OFF??
You'd have to get through, like, two petticoats and a corset to find anything you could throw. And this is at a classical concert. You know, like an opera house, with lots of seats. How exactly does THAT work?!
(Here's a question for anyone who's been to a concert with underwear-throwing: Do you take it off, or just bring an extra pair? I haven't been to a concert like that, so I have no idea.)
Another thought: Victorians didn't really bathe as much as people do nowadays. Their underwear probably would have been fairly...whiffy.
So next time you're at a rock concert with underwear-throwing, remember where it all started:
By the way, if you want more recent classical hotties, check out 2Cellos. Although for these guys, "classical" is stretching it...