And topics like MahlerMania, Great Composers with Mental Disorders, Most Fatalistic, Pessimistic, Despairing Composers - not to mention over 300 pages for the works of Havergal Brian - and one might have to admit the presence of some at least slightly eccentric personalities.Ya think?
The listener's attention span for music may have had something to do with it, too. When some first come to classical via exposure to only the "EpiC" genre of quasi-classical film score rep, I'm fond of pointing out that within the same duration of time it takes the mere introduction to Wagner's Ring to unfold, J.Williams underscoring of Harry Potter's round trip on the Hippogriffe, Buckbeak (complete, beginning, middle, end), would allow Harry and Buckbeak nearly two and a half (ca 2.57) complete round trips within the same span of time.
Some of us as kids or in our teens would have had, say, Prokofiev's Scythian Suite
along with our breakfast. Depending upon the musical exposure one has had prior coming to the classical rep, if you'd not yet heard the likes of Prokofiev's particular harmonic palette of "EpiC" in that piece, that on its own could be enough to spook some and send them away screaming in terror ;-)