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
January 26, 2015. Mozart and Schubert. Two giants of classical music were born this week: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on January 27th of 1756 and Franz Schubert on January 31st of 1797. We’ve written about both of them numerous times, so to celebrate Mozart, we’ll just play his wonderful Linz symphony (no. 36). Vienna Philharmonic orchestra is conducted by Carlos Kleiber in a live 1988 performance.
On the other hand, to celebrate Schubert, we’ll publish an article by Joseph DuBose on the song cycle Die schöne Müllerin. We had a delicious problem trying to select a singer to illustrate the cycle. There are many great recordings; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Gerald Moore made a classic one half a century ago; another great German, the tenor Peter Schreier, made a wonderful recording in 1982. A much younger tenor, the current star Jonas Kaufmann, also recorded the cycle. Hermann Prey, Ian Bostrich, Peter Pears, Thomas Quasthoff – the list is long and distinguished. Each of these singers recorded the Müllerin with great musicality and probing interpretation, and all of them have magnificent voices. We do have a favorite recording though, one made by Fritz Wunderlich in May of 1959. Wunderlich was only 29 (just three years older than Schubert was when he wrote Die schöne Müllerin) and already in a great voice. It’s impossible not to admire his singing. Here’s the article. ♫
Not only among Franz Schubert’s most beloved compositions, Die schöne Müllerin and Winterreise firmly established the song cycle as a genre rich in possibilities, and it would be taken up by some of the greatest song composers of the following century—Schumann, Brahms and Mahler. They were not the first of their kind, however. Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte predated the composition of both of Schubert’s cycle and laid the groundwork for the importance of musical continuity across the individual songs of the cycle. Yet, it was Schubert’s cycles that were the first to be widely performed and successful.
The earlier of the two cycles, Die schöne Müllerin was largely composed between May and September 1823, while Schubert was also at work on his opera Fierrabras, and was published the following year. Schubert selected twenty poems from Wilhelm Müller’s collection, excluding among others a prologue and epilogue, to use for his cycle, yet the narrative of the cycle is unharmed. The story follows the plight of a young miller that falls hopelessly in love with a miller maid. Blissful and full of life, he takes great joy in his wanderings. His companion in his journeys is a brook, that, whether for good or evil is yet not known, leads him to a mill. While working at the mill, he becomes infatuated with the master’s daughter, and attempts to win her heart. Though he believes he has gained her affections, his hopes of happiness are ruined by the arrival of a hunter, dressed in green. Jealously rises in the young miller and he develops a fatal obsession with the color green. Finally, he loses all hope and finds only rest in the cold embrace of his faithful companion, the brook.
The narrative of Die schöne Müllerin begins with the young man’s blissful wanderings in Das Wandern ("Wanderings," play). As he walks alongside the brook, watching its continuous journey and the ceaseless turning of the wheels of the mill, he muses that all things must move—must wander. Schubert sets Müller’s five-stanza poem in a simple strophic setting in B-flat major. The young man’s blithe approach to life is expressed in the almost folk-like characteristics of the song: a simple, unadorned melody and harmonies that hardly depart from the tonic and dominant of the key. Important, however, is the rippling accompaniment of sixteenth notes that depicts the scenic brook, one of the cycle’s three main characters. ContinuePermalink
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