“A husband and wife who are both composers: how do you envisage that?
Such a strange relationship between rivals: do you have any idea how ridiculous it would appear, can you imagine the loss of self-respect it would later cause us both? If, at a time when you should be attending to household duties or fetching me something I urgently needed, or if, as you wrote, you wish to relieve me of life’s trivia- if at such a moment, you were befallen by “inspiration”: what then?
…You must renounce everything superficial and conventional, all vanity and outward show (concerning your individuality and your work) – you must surrender yourself to me unconditionally, make every detail of your future life completely dependent on my needs.”
–A letter from Gustav Mahler to his wife-to-be Alma in 1901.
What do you think? How many composers turned in their music for their husband’s careers?