Children are often proposed as Romantic 'dreamers', direct in expression, untarnished by formula. In fact, if you spend time with children, you quickly find what sticklers they are for rules. 'That's not fair!' 'You're not playing it right!' 'Mummy, tell him that's not allowed!' It's children's grasp of rules which helps them learn languages much faster than the rest of us.
Folk tales, children's songs and stories, have their own sort of Classicism. Simple, familiar, engrossing structures. Not too much waffle with form. They have a beginning, a middle and an end, they have an audience. They work, they're streamlined from generation to generation, they evolve and improve. I've always wanted my songs to have that sort of classicism too.
People now are too easy on the avant garde, they think it's lending pop some sort of dignity. In fact it may be ruining pop's ability to entertain. David Bowie hasn't made a decent record since he forgot how to tell stories.
The trouble with Classical Composers in the Romantic period is that they're too often tarred with the brush of local nationalism. Sibelius and Finland, Elgar and England. But Classical Composers -- the real ones -- were as cosmopolitan as the royal families they entertained. It was music for the jet set, or at least the carriage and horses set. It was import-export music. Like champion footballers, Classical Composers were transferred from court to court. Paris - Vienna - Berlin. Wurtemburg - Verona - Toulouse.
At 15 Bach was ready to begin his career. He walked 200 miles to join the choir at Luneburg. When his voice broke, he stopped singing but remained as organist and instrumentalist. Bach became one of the great organ virtuosos of the age (Handel was another), and an expert on organ construction, frequently hired as a consultant to test a new organ before the builder was paid.