make up to the age

Sukhomvit

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In Out of Africa by I. Dinensen, I came across this passage:

"Denys and I, however, did not agree in our tastes. For I wanted the old composers, and Denys, as if courteously making up to the age for his lack of harmony with it, was as modern as possible in his taste of all arts. He liked to hear the most advanced music. “I would like Beethoven all right,” he said, “if he were not vulgar.”

Please someone enlighten me those underlined words what make me confused. Many thanks!
 

GoesStation

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The author thought Denys felt he owed something to the Classical period for having dismissed its composers.

Denys can't like Beethoven's music because he finds it distressingly lower class. This doesn't make sense to me, but I haven't read the book. In any case, Denys sounds like a prat, if I may borrow the word from my British friends.
 
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