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
February 8, 2016. Mendelssohn. Last week we missed Felix Mendelssohn’s birthday: he was born on February 3rd of 1809. Mendelssohn is of course famous as one of the foremost romantic composers of the 19th century, but he also brought back to life one of greatest masterpieces of Johann Sebastian Bach, The St. Matthew Passion. This episode is interesting as it also sheds light on the life of the emancipated German Jewry in the early 19th century. The St. Matthew Passion was first performed in April of 1727 in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig where Bach served as a Kapellmeister. It was then performed there several times during Bach’s life time. After Bach’s death in 1750, the Passion was played occasionally in the Thomaskirche but never outside of Leipzig. Then around 1800 all performances stopped. It doesn’t mean that the work was completely forgotten: the scores of the Passion were in circulation and musicians could study them. One of such enthusiasts was the composer Carl Friedrich Zelter, Felix’s music teacher. Zelter was the head of Sing-Akademie, Berlin’s choral society; he was very fond of Bach but thought the Passion to be way too complex (and long) to be performed in public. Nonetheless, parts of the Passion were being rehearsed by members of Sing-Akademie, some of these rehearsals taking place in Zelter’s home; that’s where Felix heard them for the first time. Members of Sing-Akademie came mostly from Berlin’s haut bourgeoisie but prominent Jewish families were also part of it almost from the beginning. Several members of the Mendelssohn family belonged to Sing-Akademie and so did the Itzigs, descendants of Daniel Itzig, the banker to Frederick the Great of Prussia. Bella Solomon, Daniel Itzig’s daughter, and Felix’s grandmother, sung in the Akademie. When Felix was 14, Bella Solomon presented him with a copy of the Passion’s score. It’s interesting to note that Bella, who sung all those Lutheran hymns at the Sing-Akademie, was herself a religious Jew. The young Felix was not: his father renounced the religion and Felix and his siblings didn’t have a religious education. At the age of seven he was baptized. Bella didn’t know about it till much later and clearly not when she presented Felix with Bach’s score.
By 1829, the 20 year-old Felix was already an established composer. He had already written his first symphony, a highly successful Midsummer Night's Dream Overture Op.21, which was completed when Felix was 17 and a half years old; several piano and string quartets, a violin sonata and a large number of songs. He was also preoccupied with the idea of performing The St. Matthew Passion. He had started private rehearsals of the Passion sometime earlier, enlisting a small group of singers whom he accompanied on the piano. The difficulty of the piece seemed insurmountable but Eduard Devrient, his good friend, a singer and theater director, was enthusiastic and very encouraging. It was Devrient who suggested that they perform the Passion at the Sing-Akademie with Mendelssohn himself conducting (Mendelssohn had never before conducted anything even close to the complexity of Bach’s work). The performance took place in March of 1829 and was a tremendous success. The second performance was scheduled right away, to take place on March 21st, Bach’s birthday. Even that was not enough, the public was craving more and a follow-up performance was set for the Good Friday which fell on April 17th of that year. As but that time Mendelssohn was on his way to London for a series of concerts, Zelter took over the conducting. These performances established the Passion as central to all European classical music repertoire, a position occupied by this masterpiece to this day. Later in his life Mendelssohn started composing an oratorio Christus, clearly influenced by Bach. He never finished it having died at the age of 38 after suffering several strokes. Here’s the first part of Christus; Anne Ackley is the soprano, with the Westminster Choir (Rider University) and New Jersey Symphony conducted by Joseph Flummerfelt. 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