Welcome to Classical Connect - the free classical music site!
If you like classical music, you’ve come to the right place! Classical Connect is your virtual concert hall, featuring thousands of recordings of classical music. If you love piano music, just go to the Browse by Instruments section and access the thousand-plus piano recordings available in our library. If you prefer the violin or the flute, you won’t be disappointed either – in fact, we have music for practically every instrument! If, on the other hand, you’re interested in a particular composer, you can Browse by Composer and select your favorite.
Where do we get our music? Our site allows independent musicians to upload their own recordings, or we may do it on their behalf. Musicians value the special opportunity Classical Connect offers because it allows for their music to be heard around the world. Several hundred musicians have already joined our site. We also have arrangements with several labels, festivals, programs and orchestras, allowing us to use some of their material.
As a visitor to our site you can listen to the first three minutes of any recording. However, by joining our site you’ll have access to all full-length performances. Joining is easy and has many great benefits. You’ll be able to create playlists, comment and vote on recordings, share music with friends, listen to our special programs, and more.
The music you hear upon entry was randomly selected from our library - what we call our Serendipity list. You can always pause it or jump to the next piece. You’ll be able to change the content of these initial selections once you’ve signed in.
To help you navigate the site and use its features, we’ve also created a Help page.
In the meantime, enjoy the music!
The Classical Connect team
April 14, 2014. Ockeghem. Johannes Ockeghem was one of the greatest composers of the Franco-Flemish school, and, therefore, one of the greatest composers of the early Renaissance, as Burgundians dominated the European musical scene in the 15th century. The date of Ockeghem’s birth is very much in doubt, some researchers suggest 1410, other – 1425. He was probably born in the town of Saint-Ghislain, not far from Mons, the capital of the county of Hainaut. Two famous composers, Gilles Binchois some years earlier and Orlando di Lasso a century later were born in Mons. It’s possible that Ockenghem studied with Binchois, and it’s even more probable that they met at the Burgundian court later on. In 1443 Ockeghem was a chorister in Antwerp, and between 1446 and 1448 served at the court of Charles I, Duke of Bourbon. The dukes were of an old noble family that would eventually rule all of France (king Louis XIV was a Bourbon), but at the time of Ockeghem the French kings came from the House of Valois. Ockeghem would serve them as well: he moved to Paris around 1452 and was hired as a singer at the court of King Charles VII (according to contemporaries, Ockeghem had a beautiful bass voice). Several years later he was given the title of Maistre de chapelle de chant du roy. He also became a canon of the cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. In 1460 Gilles Binchois died in Soignies and Ockeghem wrote a “Déploration” (Lamentation) on his death. You can listen to it hear. The Laudantes Consort is led by Guy Janssens.
After the death of Charles in 1461, Ockeghem continued at the court of his son, King Louis XI. By 1475 the One Hundred Year’s War was over. Louis XI signed a treaty with the English and went to battle his other sworn enemy, the Burgundians. Two years later Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, was killed in a battle, and Louis XI took possession of many of the Duchy’s territories, including Burgundy itself. Lois XI died in 1483; Ockeghem continued at the court of Charles VIII, but eventually left Paris. He spent some time in Bruges and then went to Tours, where he held a prestigious position of the treasurer of the St.-Martin Cathedral. He died in Tours in 1497. Many “laments” were composed at his death, just as he did when Binchois died. The most famous of these funeral chansons was written by Josquin des Prez. You can listen to it hear, in the performance by Laudantes Consort with Guy Janssens.
Compared to his predecessors, Guillaume Dufay, John Dunstaple or Gilles Binchois, Ockeghem’s textures seem to be richer and more sonorous. He wasn’t a very prolific composer: his extant output consists of 14 masses, 10 motets, and several chansons. Here’s Kyrie from his L'homme armé Mass. It’s preceded by the famous tune itself, which is later user throughout the mass, usually in the tenor part and slow development, so it’s not easy to hear it directly. Oxford Camerata is lead by Jeremy Summerly. And hear’s an amazing motet Deo gratias, for four nine-part choruses – thirty-six parts altogether, in a virtuoso performance by the Huelgas Ensemble. It’s lead by Paul van Nevel.
The anonymous picture above is often considered a portrait of Ockeghem with members of the choir. He’s the one wearing the glasses!Read more...
Welcome to our Virtual Concert Hall
We started Classical Connect with a mission to provide independent musicians with a new venue for their performances. Hundreds of classical musicians have taken advantage of this opportunity, sharing their music with listeners across the world.
We encourage you to join and upload your performances. Once signed in, you’ll be able to create a personal page with your bio, photo and other promotional materials. Since all the recordings on our site are streamed, your performance cannot be downloaded without your permission. In the future, you may also benefit from our plan to introduce fees for certain downloads. These fees will be shared with you, the musician. If you have a video of your performance on YouTube, you can link it to your personal page: go to Upload or Link Your Performance and paste the YouTube URL in the appropriate field. Your video will play on Classical Connect alongside your audio recordings.
Also, we have created a new feature called Concert Schedules, which allows you to enter your future concerts. Once your event has been entered, two things should happen. First, the concert is displayed on your personal page, below the bio. Second, the concert appears on the combined front-page Concerts Calendar. Moreover, for two days – the day before the concert and the day of the concert itself – there will be a message announcing your concert on the front-page News and Updates tab. This is the very first tab presented to all logged-on users.
On the technical side: our site accepts MP3 and MP4 files, so if you have a CD recording, you can rip and upload it in this format. For better quality, we recommend using a bit rate of 128 kbps, an audio sample rate of 44 kHz, and a two-channel (stereo) format.
To upload, enter the complete title of the piece, including its key, number, opus, etc. For example, the title of Beethoven's Sonata No. 21 would be identified as Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53. "Waldstein" is optional. Also, we encourage you to leave comments about your performance or the composition.
If your performance was recorded on several tracks, then upload each one with a different title. For example, Sonata No. 21, part 1, Sonata No. 21, part 2 and so on. Please let us know and we’ll merge these different movements into one complete performance with the appropriate title.
Please do not upload parts of a composition. Think of Classical Connect as your virtual concert hall: only upload the things you would play in a real one.
If you have any questions, please contact us by clicking here and sending us an e-mail. We'll make every effort to respond as quickly as possible.
The Classical Connect team
Benefits of Joining Classical Connect
There are many advantages to joining Classical Connect. The first, and most obvious, is the ability to listen to complete performances. We have more than 2,000 different pieces of classical music, some of them as long as an hour and 50 minutes (yes, that’s how long Mahler’s Third Symphony is!). Once you’re logged in, you can listen to every one of them from start to finish – that’s if you like the performance, of course.
You can also create personal playlists. There’s no limit to how many pieces each playlist can include. You can read more about playlists here. In addition, you can comment and vote on any piece of music in our library. The grades / rankings go from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest), but please only reserve 10s for the truly great performances and use 1s sparingly!
Another advantage includes sharing performances with your friends. Click the Share button on the Player and send a message to your friend on Classical Connect, or simply copy/paste the link into an e-mail. Your friends don’t even need to be members of Classical Connect; they can simply click on the link and listen to the complete performance the same way you do.
Also, you can actively participate in Forums only if you’ve joined the site.
Finally, as you set up your profile, you can select the content of the initial musical selection or omit it entirely.
Joining is easy. Just click here and follow the instructions.
The Classical Connect team