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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, and
Holst were all school teachers; Borodin was a chemist; and Mussorgsky was
Civil Servant / clerk.  Among those freelance composers like Handel,
Mozart, and early Haydn (1749-1759, before getting a job from the
Eszterhazys), most had periods of financial disasters.  Handel's
bread-and-butter were his (often comic) operas for the common Londoners,
until that went out of style; then he returned to writing (often Biblical)
oratorios, but had a stroke before "Messiah" and he eventually went blind. 
He did write some works on commission from the nobility ("Fireworks" et
cetera), but that would be the exact opposite of Abreu's statement: a
common man making music for the elite.  Mozart, obviously not part of the
elite, created some revolutionary operas like Magic Flute and especially
Marriage of Figaro with, in that case, themes of women are smarter than men
and the common people are smarter than the aristocracy; ideas would return
in some of Beethoven's work ("Fidelio" and the 9th symphony).  Verdi was
also somewhat of a revolutionary; in fact his name became a political
acrostic for a unified Italy (Victor Emmanuel, king [Rex] of [d'] Italy).  

Robert Meyer

> [Original Message]
> From: Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: 4/20/2006 8:39:22 PM
> Subject: Venezuela brings Bach to the majority
>
>
<http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index2.php/free/culture/arts/bach_in_the
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