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Tortured Poets, Classical Department

empty rehearsal room with chairs for orchestra and chorus set

With all due respect to the latest from Taylor Swift, classical music has long been the home of many a tortured poet.

In the middle ages troubadours and trouveres toured their own tortured songs all over Europe. Opera heroes like Orfeo and Rodolfo were themselves artists with words (and music) having quite the angst-filled time. In the Romantic era composers set famously devastating poems by Heinrich Heine, Friedrich Rückert, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Elizabeth Barret Browning. Plus, consider one of the oldest documented composers, who was quite literally a tortured poet, among all her other skills - Hildegard of Bingen.

Check out the playlist below for a very small taste of the tortured poets (and composers) of classical music.

You can also click here to readwhat NPR's Ann Powers had to say about Taylor Swift's Tortured Poets.

Colleen is the Music Director and host for LPM Classical. Email Colleen at colleen@lpm.org.

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