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
December 15, 2014. Beethoven and Kodali. Ludwig van Beethoven was born on December 16th, 1770 – at least that’s the accepted date: no direct record of his birth exists, but we know that he was baptized on the 17th. We celebrate his birthday by going through his piano sonatas. This way, even if seemingly arbitrary, is as good as any: Beethoven’s piano sonatas are the not just an essential part of piano literature, they represent a pinnacle of European music. Last year it was Sonatas nos. 2 and 3, op. 2. This year we move on to Sonata no. 4, op. 7, in E-flat Major and the opus 10. Sonata no. 4 was written in 1796. By then Beethoven was living in Vienna (he had moved there from Bonn four years earlier). One of his benefactors, Prince Lichnowsky, provided him with living quarters. Young and cocky, Beethoven was widely acknowledged as a great piano virtuoso. He played in all major salons of the city, often improvising during the concerts. These improvisations brought him great acclaim. He composed, but not as extensively as he would just a couple year later. He also traveled: to Prague, with Lichnovsky, then to Pressburg (now Bratislava). Sonata no. 4 was published in 1797 and was dedicated to Babette Keglevich, Beethoven’s pupil. We know very little about Babette, except that she came from an old noble family, originally from Croatia, and that clearly she was a very good pianist – the sonata is technically quite difficult. It’s also pretty long, running about 28 minutes. Only Hammerklavier, no. 29 Op. 106 is longer. We’ll hear it in the 1975 performance by Sviatoslav Richter.
The next sonatas, op. 10, were written two years later, in 1798. 1798 was the year that General Bernadotte, the ambassador of the French Directory and the future King of Sweden (as Charles XIV), arrived in Vienna. It’s believed that it was Bernadotte who suggested to Beethoven that he write a symphony dedicated to the young, successful general by the name of Napoleon Bonaparte. Beethoven did write a symphony, his third (we know it as Eroica) and initially dedicated it to Napoleon, but once Napoleon proclaimed himself the emperor of France, Beethoven withdrew the dedication. Opus 10 consists of three sonatas, no. 5 in c minor, in three movements, no. 6 in F Major, also in three movements, and no. 7, in D Major, the largest of the three, in four movements. All three were dedicated to the Countess Anne Margarete von Browne, the wife of count Johann Georg von Browne, an important patron (Beethoven dedicated three string trios op. 9, written at the same time as the sonatas, to the count himself). The sonatas op. 10 are not performed very often, which is a pity: they are beautiful and sound fresh, while the modern concert repertory is often repetitive, with the same pieces being played over and over again. We can listen to sonata no. 5 and no. 6 in the performance by Alfred Brendel; sonata no. 7 is played by Annie Fischer.
Annie Fischer was a Hungarian pianist. She was born in Budapest in 1914. Despite the country’s tragic history, the 20th century saw a flowering of classical music in Hungary. Composers like Béla Bartók, Ernst von Dohnányi (Fischer’s teacher at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music), and later, György Ligeti and György Kurtág were all of the utmost importance. And then there were the conductors: Sir Georg Solti, Antal Doráti, the already-mentioned Dohnányi, Fritz Reiner, George Szell. (It’s interesting to note that most of the musicians we just mentioned were Jewish; most of the Hungarian Jews perished during the Holocaust). One of the most important composers of the first half of the 20th century was Zoltan Kodály, a friend of Béla Bartók. Kodály’s birthday is also this week: he was born on December 16th of 1882. Here’s one of his most popular symphonic pieces: the Háry János Suite from 1926. It’s based on Kodály’s opera, Háry János. The Cleveland Orchestra is conducted by George Szell.Permalink
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