Weird Relationships

Posted by: ***musical princess***

Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 09:45 AM

I read in a recent post by pianojerome that Grieg married his cousin. Although this was a bit weird, it didn't shock me too much, however i was reading up on Rachmaninov this morning and i found that he also married his cousin, Natalia Satina. This got me wondering, how many other weird marital relationships there are in the music world?

Anybody got any others they'd like to add?

x
Posted by: Hepcat

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 09:54 AM

I believe cousin marriage used to be pretty common.
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 10:06 AM

It was...extremely common, especially among families trying to keep their bloodline "pure" (see "royalty"). ;\)
Posted by: musicsdarkangel

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 10:15 AM

I only knew about Rachmaninoff, but I'm sure there are more.


Aaron Copland too i think.

Just kidding.
Posted by: pianistcomposer

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 11:20 AM

You should read up on Percy Grainger - a fascinating personality who, among other things, apparently slept in the same bed with his mother well into middle-age (and I've heard reports that involved, uh, more than just sleeping. *Ahem*).
Posted by: jazzyd

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 11:25 AM

Yes, he had a bedtime story.


David
Posted by: Requiem Aeternam

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 11:51 AM

Bach married his cousin and I'm assuming some of his 20 kids came from her (she died and he remarried later)
Posted by: Requiem Aeternam

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 11:52 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pianistcomposer:
You should read up on Percy Grainger - a fascinating personality who, among other things, apparently slept in the same bed with his mother well into middle-age (and I've heard reports that involved, uh, more than just sleeping. *Ahem*). [/b]
ROFLMAO!

that's pretty sick. Freud would be proud
Posted by: Requiem Aeternam

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 11:54 AM

As for other "weird" relationships, I think it's weird enough as it is that Brahms was in love with Clara Schumann who was 14 years his senior, but at one point while he was simultaneously in love with her he fell in love with her young daughter Julie too and was heart broken when she got married. So he was in love with the mother and daughter at the same time. I'd say this qualifies as at least a little "weird."
Posted by: ***musical princess***

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 11:59 AM

"It was...extremely common, especially among families trying to keep their bloodline "pure" (see "royalty")."

No wonder they all looked inbred!

x
Posted by: Requiem Aeternam

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 12:08 PM

What the hell?
Posted by: ***musical princess***

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 12:10 PM

Oh, right, i guess that didn't make much sense! Personal joke among friends really - sorry to confuse you.

x
Posted by: Mikester

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 12:39 PM

Not quite weird but the Schumann-Brahms love triangle is one interesting story.

Also Chopin's relationship with George Sand should have been quite intriguing given the personalities of the two characters.
Posted by: Requiem Aeternam

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 12:50 PM

LoL no problem I just don't quite see how all the composers looked inbred if that's what you were implying
Posted by: ***musical princess***

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 12:56 PM

It wasn't, well it kinda was but not coz of how they looked - its really stupid and it was one of those things were you kinda had to be there to understand.

x
Posted by: Requiem Aeternam

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 01:14 PM

Closed for obvious reasons.
Posted by: ***musical princess***

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 01:57 PM

"Closed for obvious reasons."

What do you mean?

x
Posted by: Max W

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 02:06 PM

Probably something he said
Posted by: pianojerome

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 02:13 PM

Gesualdo married his cousin. Gesualdo was actually a very unique composer, for two reasons: 1, because he was the only famous composer known to have been born entirely of royal blood; 2, because he was the only famous composer known to have murdered his wife.

I have to go out now, but I'll be back later to tell you the story!
Posted by: pianojerome

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 02:17 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Requiem Aeternam:
Closed for obvious reasons. [/b]
Now, now, don't mock our moderators! :rolleyes:
Posted by: Requiem Aeternam

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 02:20 PM

Hehe someone caught on.
Posted by: Ronel Augustyn

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 02:21 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Hepcat:
I believe cousin marriage used to be pretty common. [/b]
Yes, that's what I heard too. but you must understand the meaning of "cousin". Cause sometimes they mean lik second and third cousins, who were almost no family of each other - don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was right, but it wasn't like me marrying my mother's brother's son, you know? or not always.
They want to make it sound that way with just using the word "cousin".

Or am I totally out of line here?
Posted by: Ronel Augustyn

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 02:24 PM

Just wanting to add another thing: everybody knows Tchaikovsky was gay, and I'm almost sure he fell in love with either a good friend, or a nephew - help anyone?

But that's why he commited suicide shortly after that releasing of the Pathétique Symphony...
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 02:26 PM

"Gesualdo was actually a very unique composer, for two reasons(...)"

I think Gesualdo might have been a very unique composer for his music, too... Anyhow, I ordered his madrigals for starters (have to get to know his music a bit)...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gesualdo
Posted by: Requiem Aeternam

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 02:29 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pianojerome:
Gesualdo married his cousin. Gesualdo was actually a very unique composer, for two reasons: 1, because he was the only famous composer known to have been born entirely of royal blood; [/b]
Frederick the Great and King Henry VIII (the guy in my avatar) were both composers as far as I know, unless you are implying they were not born of noble blood, that I'm not sure about.
Posted by: pianojerome

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 04:24 PM

Here's a chapter from Barber's book, Bach, Beethoven, and the Boys: Music History As It Ought To Be Taught. Go buy the book, too (or check it out from a library) - it really is quite hilarious! (and veritable, too)

---

In the general scheme of music history, Don Carlo Gesualdo is not a terribly important figure. On the other hand, he is remarkable for two reasons: he is the only famous musician to be a true-born member of the nobility, and he is the only one (that we know of) ever to have murdered his wife. A few other musicians have been murdered. (Not as many as there should have been, some might say.) But Gesualdo is the only one to have been a murderer himself. Besides, his music is strange. Even the right notes sound funny. Wrong ones are awful.

Gesualdo was born in 1560 into a family of Italian nobility. He was a Prince of Venosa, Count of Consa, Lord of Gesualdo, Marquis of Laino and a whole bunch of other high-sounding things besides. (Although his wife called him something else entirely.) His family tree went back all the way to before Charlemagne. His ancestors had a habit of either fighting a lot in wars or becoming bishops. They didn't believe in the middle ground.

Gesualdo grew up in very comfortable surroundings. There was nothing he liked better as a young man than to get together with a bunch of his friends, go away to the family castle outside Naples and sing madrigals all night. It disturbed the neighbors, but since he was a prince they couldn't complain.

The party ended for Gesualdo in 1585. His older brother Luigi died, leaving Gesualdo heir to the family name. This meant getting married - something he wasn't keen to do. (Being a bachelor was more fun.) Gesualdo married his cousin Donna Maria d'Avalos, who at the age of 25 had married twice before already. That should have told him something.

The wedding celebration was a big bash that lasted for days. Everyone drank too much and Gesualdo and his buddies sang off-key well into the small hours.

The marriage went along all right for a few years. Well enough for the couple to have a baby boy, anyway. But pretty soon Donna Maria began to resent the fact that Gesualdo was more interested in composing madrigals than in her. She began spending more time with a certain Fabrizio Carafa, who was a duke and a count and rather dashing.

After that, they found excuses to be together most of the time, and pretty soon people were beginning to talk. (Carafa was lonely too. His wife was a religious fanatic and was inclined to shout in her sleep. It kept him awake.) Word of the affair eventually got to Gesualdo, who changed all the locks on the palace doors. This only worked for a while. Donna Maria had new keys made, which she gave to Carafa.

Finally, one day in October, Gesualdo told his wife he was going out hunting and made a big show of riding off to the country. He had told her not to expect him home that night. She knew a good chance when she saw one and invited Carafa to come over. She said she needed a big, strong man to open jam jars or something.

That night, Gesualdo returned secretly to the palace and caught his wife in bed with her lover. (Carafa was wearing Donna Maria's nightgown at the time. It was white, with black lace collar and cuffs.) He shot them both and then stabbed them a few times for good measure. Historian Cecil Gray agrees with the English essayist Thomas de Quincey that murder should be considered an art form. Gray gives Gesualdo points for the pistols and swordplay, but says he should have hit her a few times with a club. "A few judicious blows with a bludgeon," he says, "impart a variety, expressiveness and rich charm." (I'm not making this up, you know.)

After the murder, Gesualdo worreid that people might be angry at him - his wife's family, for instance - so he escaped to his family castle and cut down all the trees so no one could sneak up on him. Gesualdo had good cause for concern: the murdered duke had a nephew who had once hit a monk over the head and killed him, just for reciting a poem too loudly.

Not only did Gesualdo kill his wife and her lover, he also killed their small baby. The boy was his wife's second child. Gesualdo noticed that the baby's face looked similar, but it didn't look like him. In a fit of anger, Gesualdo put the baby in a cradle suspended on ropes from the ceiling and rocked it to death. (Afterwards, he felt guilty about the whole thing and had a monestary built on the site. Then he felt better.)

Needless to say, the murders were cause for much gossip. All the poets wrote about the event, but they tended to side with Gesualdo's wife, not him. They said he over-reacted.

Gesualdo married again a few years later. His second wife was Donna Eleonora d'Este, and she outlived him. But their marriage wasn't exactly rosy. Gesualdo may have not known it, but she was probably having an affair with Cardinal Allesandro d'Este, who aside from being a man of the church was her half-brother. (Might as well get hung for a sheep as a lamb, she must have figured.)

After his second marriage, Gesualdo spent most of his time at the court of the Duke of Ferrara, who liked to have musicians and composers hanging around the place. Over the years, he'd have such famous composers as Josquin des Prez, Orlando di Lasso, Cipriano de Rore, Obrecht, Marenzio and others. Palestrina stayed there for a few years and even John Dowland dropped in once for a visit.

Gesualdo had published his first book of madrigals under the pseudonym of Gioseppe Pilonij, but now began publishing them under his own name. Maybe being an infamous murderer improved his sales. (Gray points out that the bulk of his compositions came after the murders. He says music was a more satisfying creative outlet.) Altogether, Gesualdo published six books of madrigals, almost all of them characterized by daring and unusual harmonic progressions. (Composer Igor Stravinsky called him "the crank of chromaticism.")

Maybe Gesualdo's peculiar harmonies had something to do with his chronic bowel troubles. According to one Don Ferrante della Marra, writing in 1632, Gesualdo was unable to defecate "unless ten or twelve men, whom he kept specially for the purpose, were to beat him violently three times a day, during which operation he was wont to smile joyfully." That probably explains everything.
Posted by: Antonius Hamus

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 04:44 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
"Gesualdo was actually a very unique composer, for two reasons(...)"

I think Gesualdo might have been a very unique composer for his music, too... Anyhow, I ordered his madrigals for starters (have to get to know his music a bit)...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gesualdo [/b]
By the way, I meant "may have been", not "might have been"... In fact, I think he was, or is... At least I hope he was, or, better yet, is... I'll come back to this, after I've gotten the CD...
Posted by: Requiem Aeternam

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 06:39 PM

 Quote:
"unless ten or twelve men, whom he kept specially for the purpose, were to beat him violently three times a day, during which operation he was wont to smile joyfully." That probably explains everything.[/b]
ROFLMAO!!!!!!
Posted by: Derulux

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 10:38 PM

 Quote:
(Gray points out that the bulk of his compositions came after the murders. He says music was a more satisfying creative outlet.)
*falls off chair* That's absolutely hilariously astounding! :p \:D

(I think all historical documents should be written with this sort of flair.) ;\)
Posted by: Ronel Augustyn

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 11:00 PM

well that really is. *chair almost skeeing to the back of the room*

What kind of wicked man is this?
Posted by: Requiem Aeternam

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/19/05 11:05 PM

sounds alot like Marquis de Sade and his sado-masochism and whatnot.

I still can't get over this though, lol

Maybe Gesualdo's peculiar harmonies had something to do with his chronic bowel troubles. According to one Don Ferrante della Marra, writing in 1632, Gesualdo was unable to defecate "unless ten or twelve men, whom he kept specially for the purpose, were to beat him violently three times a day, during which operation he was wont to smile joyfully." That probably explains everything.[/b]
Posted by: ***musical princess***

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/20/05 03:09 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Ronel Augustyn:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Hepcat:
I believe cousin marriage used to be pretty common. [/b]
Yes, that's what I heard too. but you must understand the meaning of "cousin". Cause sometimes they mean lik second and third cousins, who were almost no family of each other - don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was right, but it wasn't like me marrying my mother's brother's son, you know? or not always.
They want to make it sound that way with just using the word "cousin".

Or am I totally out of line here? [/b]
Well, i don't know about the others but Natalia Satina was definitely Rachmaninov's first cousin - but im sure alot of the others were second and third cousins.

x
Posted by: Rodolpho Portamento Fritzweil

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/20/05 05:14 AM

Posted by: princessclara2005

Re: Weird Relationships - 06/20/05 10:40 AM

pianojerome,

Interesting story, thanks for sharing....

I think I will not consider to play his music in the future.