Summer has arrived and the only thing sweating more than your hair follicles is your record collection that's begging to be played. Since we're all attention deficit citizens of the Internet that lack the strict discipline to focus on listening to an album from start to finish, what better way to spend time listening to your favorite composer than by slurping your favorite ice cream and cooling yourself down from this sweltering heat? We selected ten flavors of ice cream and chose a composer we thought complimented your creamy indulgence. This list is by no means comprehensive or definitive, but hopefully it will provide some ideas about how to kill time when you're laying in a pool of your own sweat on a Monday afternoon in July.
- Ice Cream Flavor: Vanilla
The Universal Pleaser. Provide either of vanilla ice cream or Mozart to a group of people and you'll face little contention. This simplicity does not equate to a blandness, they are well liked for legitimate reasons. Vanilla ice cream does not take extreme saccharine risks like the typical Ben & Jerry's creation and Beethoven has a suite of instantly recognizable works under his belt. Neither ice cream nor composer expend energy at any pretense to be well liked.
- Ice Cream Flavor: Chocolate
Another inoffensive pairing, but with a slight edge. Beethoven's works are chaotic and emotional, but they never aim to distance the audience member from enjoying them. Similarly, chocolate is not a frilly ice cream flavor, but it has a richness to it that vanilla ice cream often lacks.
- Ice Cream Flavor: Pistachio
The early 20th century composer tried to keep his works original without trying to provoke a reaction from the audience. Debussy ignored German traditions in composition and narrative, preferring to focus on creating evocative and colorful works. Pistachio is all these things. Bright green and derived from a salty nut rather than sweet candies and fruits, pistachio is a unique ice cream flavor but it does not demand that the eater develop a taste for it.
- Ice Cream Flavor: Rocky Road
Composer: Aaron Copland
A populist composer with a fascination for the rugged American spirit, Copland compliments everything opulent, grand, and thrilling about the American dream. Copland's music provides the listener with a rambunctious adventure during each movement, fitting for a tub of the most complex mixture of sweets combined in a chocolate-based ice cream.
- Ice Cream Flavor: Phish Food
This flavor and composer pairing is not for the weak. Similar to his spirit ice cream's indulgent nature, Sibelius composes the type of music only acceptable to play during gloomy times. When asked about the coldness of his music, Sibelius said that "while other composers were engaged in manufacturing cocktails he offered the public pure cold water". Listening to the kind of music that's perfect for brooding over the world's despair can only pair well pint of the richest ice cream imaginable.
Ice Cream Flavor: Cotton Candy
Composer: John Cage
Some forms of ice cream are acquired tastes and if you aren't predisposed to the intense sweetness of cotton candy ice cream, it might take a couple tries before you get desensitized from the intense sugar rush it provides you. Enjoying John Cage also requires pushing your comfort boundaries in taste. His music borders on trolling, as is the case with his infamous "4:33" piece, and he also integrates strange objects into his orchestrations, including conch shells and cacti. Once you get past the initial shock value, his oeuvre will leave you both intellectually stimulated and satisfied.
Ice Cream Flavor: Butter Pecan
Wagner's music is associated with a maximalism in it's delivery, containing an abundance of harmonies and leitmotifs. He's the blockbuster of classical music, which makes placing him with the rich butter pecan a perfect pairing.
Ice Cream Flavor: Neapolitan
Composer: Leonard Bernstein
The eclectic one. Leonard Bernstein had an eclectic knowledge of music and utilized it throughout his career as a composer and conductor. Although steeped in the works of Mahler, Gershwin, and Liszt, he had a positive relationship with pop culture and wrote scores for musicals and films. Bernstein's ability to identify with popular music made him a favorite among commercial audiences, but critics often found his use of borrowing from other genres on cliche. Such a mixed sentiment compliments the Neapolitan ice cream. The ice cream flavor is adaptive to conflicting tastes, but also incorporates more common flavors to achieve greater appeal.
- Ice Cream Flavor: Green Tea
Composer: Philip Glass
Green tea ice cream gives the illusion that your indulgence leads to some healthy betterment of yourself, and with such a lightweight texture you will struggle to think about the flavor as anything but a healthy treat. Philip Glass is the same way. His music often feels brooding and breezy, which makes sense that he considers his genre "music with repetitive structures", but he never allows a composition to remain simple. Silence in Glass' work is provided as a contrast to his deeply textured rhythmic structures.
- Ice Cream Flavor: Strawberry
Although Haydyn's work did not change much throughout his expansive six years composing music, the composer had a knack at incorporating contemporary folk into his works. The delicate and unpretentious nature that Haydyn's work has pairs perfectly with a pint of strawberry ice cream. Simple enough that you won't find yourself knocked out on the floor