In this time of crisis, classical music has been our saviour
The pandemic has made classical music less elitist than it ever was. Ironically, it is technology that has abetted our salvation, with internet allowing a level of connectedness that has never before been possible.
In one of my earliest contributions to this newspaper, I wrote about Zubin Mehta’s Beethoven concert in Srinagar (“Zubin Mehta’s concert in Srinagar was avowedly political", 9 September 2013). My argument then was that much of Western classical music and art has been either inherently political, or used for political ends. Whether it was Mozart railing against aristocratic privilege under cover of “Le nozze di Figaro" (1786), a comic opera, or Beethoven extolling the virtues of freedom and brother-(and sister-)hood, most notably in the Ninth Symphony (1824), and his only opera, “Fidelio" (1805), artists have understood the inherent potency of music, both in commenting on the human condition, and in creating ideals to which we as humans aspire, and compared to which the world as it exists falls short.