I’ve always thought it would be fun to try to match up writers and composers who share similar technical approaches, aesthetic philosophy, etc. This would be an attempt to find correspondences in the vision, skill, content, or “Kappa element” between them. Here are some of my suggestions. What would you add?
1. Bach & Dante. Both evinced extraordinary technical skill, including manipulation of numerical elements as symbolism. Bach wrote his name into pieces of music and composed canons that play the same forwards and backwards. Dante used the significance of 3 at every level of his Divine Comedy, from the consonant-vowel-consonant word-endings of Italian through the treza rima rhyme scheme to the 33 cantos (+ 1 to make 100) in his three volumes. Both reached mystical heights of religious sublimity, Bach with the B minor Mass, Dante with Paradiso.
2. Byron & Berlioz. OK, this one is a little too easy, because it's just based on "Harold in Italy." And I don't know enough about Berlioz's life to know if they are comparable. As far as the heroic, humanistic vision, maybe Richard Strauss would be a better match for Byron. Or maybe Franz Liszt?
3. Chopin & Novalis. Two poetic, dreamy, lyrical souls who both died young of consumption. Both wrote short, dream-like, mysterious, achingly beautiful pieces. Each had a limited range of expression, but created works of delicate perfection within that range.
4. Schoenberg & e e cummings. Each tried to invent new ways to use notes/words, and invented a new tonal system/syntax. But although each is well applauded, studied, and appreciated, neither completely caught on. Schoenberg thought that in the next generation children would be whistling 12-tone rows in the street. They're not. And I'm sure I hear phrases in iambic pentameter quoted far more often than "in its box of lavender sky the moon rattles like a fragment of angry candy."
5. Hildegaard of Bingen and Julian of Norwich. OK, maybe this one is cheating, too, because it's so superficial and easy. Two Medieval ladies who wrote works of visionary ecstasy. Maybe too simple. But try reading the one while listening to the other! Maybe you'll go into a visionary ecstasy, too!
6. Wagner & ... hum. The late C. S. Lewis? To me, Till We Have Faces and part of Perelandra are like the overture to Tristan & Isolde or Parsifal or Tannhauser--big, grand, mythological, mythic, spiritual. But maybe that's just my perspective.
Please add to the list!
It might also be interesting to try to include visual artists. How about:
Wagner—?—Caspar David Friedrich