robert meyer wrote:
> Dr Jose Antonio Abreu's statement that "Historically, classical music was
> performed by an elite for an elite, then by an elite for the majority..."
> is not really that accurate in the late Baroque, through Classical, to mid
> Romantic periods. Certainly there are many major composers who were not of
> any "elite" class: JS Bach was a church organist; Vivaldi, Schubert,
I would agree with this, but note that Abreu's word is not "composed"
but "performed." He is, then, using "elite" in a fairly broad sense,
naming not just (or even) the 2-5% that constitute the ruling 'elite' of
all social orders but, more broadly, all those from comfortable enough
backgrounds either (a) to purchase the instruments and pay for the
lessons and/or (b) to pay to hear the music. The program described is
also interesting because it began and was continued for some time under
regimes in Venezuela by no means caring of the mass of the population.
One wonders whether that was merely a contingency or whether there
was/is something about Venezuelan history and popular culture that
provided a particularly 'welcoming' environment for the program.