We consider classical music to be the epitome and quintessence of our culture (...) the heritage of classical antiquity (...) a superb chivalric morality. The human attitude of which classical music is the expression is based on an insight into life and strives for (...) victory over blind chance. It signifies knowledge of the tragedy of the human condition, affirmation of human destiny, courage, cheerful serenity.  The grace of a minuet by Händel or Couperin, the sensuality sublimated into delicate gesture to be found in many Italian composers or in Mozart, the tranquil readiness for death in Bach -- always there may be heard in these works a defiance, a death-defying intrepidity, a gallantry, and note of superhuman laughter, of immortal joyous serenity. (Hermann Hesse, "The Glass Bead Game")