Indeed. Very interesting and useful. Not just with Classical but with all music, I have a hard time understanding why I like some things and not others (usually it has little to do with meeting conventions -- most often with contemporary music I have prefered the non-mainstream/non-pop, so I find it interesting that I resonate more highly with "traditional" CM, maybe?). I usually chalk it up to "the little person in me who is either dancing to the tune or not". ha. It's all the more frustrating because I studied cinema very closely in college, so in seeing how well I can understand one art form, it makes my blindspots in other art forms, music included, that much more stark.As for Clara and Fanny, I would say that their ideas were less impressive, but their pieces are of course very well-crafted (they had plenty of exposure). So, what I would suspect is that people would have a more difficult time with them and are more apt to get tired of the process of listening to them.
Anyway the more you listen, weeks apart, and and in very different moods, the more you will hear in them …and then you could be impressed by how much less quality time they probably had for composing (less than Robert or Felix).
On another note, relevant to this thread, we were exploring in my classes yesterday how and why people seem to immediately appreciate works like Moonlight Sonata and Liebestraum and Pachelbel Canon in D, Air on a G String, Ravel’s Death of a Princess, Mozart’s k545. We came to a preliminary conclusion that humans already know these famous chord progressions AND the notes in these pieces grow right out of the chord progressions ..that they already know. Of course I'm speaking of preteens with little experience in listening, but it might be helpful to know as the new CM fan.
It's fairly obvious, but so much about music appreciation is quite obvious (it actually has to be for non-musicians, and composers needed to know that all too well).
And that makes sense with Clara and Fanny. I had heard that Fanny was often dissuaded from publishing openly. Though I'd heard an anecdote that some of her works did find important non-musician fans, like the Queen of England. And I'd read that Clara was mostly busy as a performer rather than a composer, and was the main source of income for her family. Amazing, really! I love this sort of history!