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 27, 2015. Alessandro Scarlatti and Leoncavallo. Two wonderful Italian opera composer were born around this time, two centuries apart - Alessandro Scarlatti and Ruggero Leoncavallo. Scarlatti was close to the beginning of the Italian opera, Leoncavallo – at the end of it, or at least that’s how it feels from our vantage point (let’s hope the Italian genius rejuvenates itself in the near future). Alessandro Scarlatti was born on May 2nd of 1660 in Palermo, Sicily (we’ve written about him a number of times, for example here and here). When he was 12, he went to Rome and studied there with Giacomo Carissimi, another seminal figure in the history of Italian opera (Carissimi’s birthday was just several days ago: he was born on April 18th of 1605). Scarlatti wrote his first opera at the age of 19. As so many Roman composers of his time, Scarlatti worked under the patronage of Queen Christina. He then went to Naples to serve at the courts of the Viceroys, who ruled Naples on behalf of the King of Spain. He moved between Naples and Rome for the rest of his life. Scarlatti wrote 115 opera, of which 64 survive. In the process, he came up with a number of innovations, di capo aria being one of them; di capo, a tripartite aria in which the third part repeats the first (di capo meaning “from the head” or from the beginning in Italian), but with improvisations, became a mainstay of the baroque opera. Scarlatti’s last opera, La Griselda, was written in 1721. Here’s the aria In voler cio che tu brami... Che arrechi, Ottone. It’s sung by the wonderful Italian soprano Mirella Freni; Nino Sanzogno conducts the Alessandro Scarlatti Orchestra. Scarlatti wrote several oratorios, and here’s an aria from one of them, Oratorio La Santissima Vergine del Rosario. The music is absolutely exquisite and so is the performance by the incomparable mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli. Les Musiciens du Louvre are conducted by Marc Minkowski.
Ruggero Leoncavallo is famous for just one piece of music, but what a great piece it is! Pagliacci became immensely popular immediately after its first performance in May of 1892 and it remained one of the most often performed operas ever since. Leoncavallo was born on April 23rd of 1857 in Naples into a well-to-do family (his father was a magistrate). Leoncavallo went to the Naples conservatory where he studied composition with an opera composer Lauro Rossi. Upon graduating in 1876, he wrote an opera, Chatterton, but couldn’t get it staged (it was premiered 20 years later but vanished from the repertory soon after). He traveled to Egypt and France and settled in Paris, living a bohemian life and earning some money giving music lessons. In Paris he heard Wagner’s The Ring and decided to create a trilogy as an Italian response to the German epic. He worked on it on and off; the results never amounted to much. In Paris Leoncavallo married Berthe Rambaud, a French singer. Soon after they returned to Milan, where Leoncavallo proceeded to work as librettist and composer; one of his most successful works was the libretto for Giacomo Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. 1890 witnessed the enormously successful premier of Pietro Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana. It strongly affected Leoncavallo, who decided to write an opera in a similar realistic (verismo) style and almost immediately started working on Pagliacci (The Clowns). Leoncavallo claimed that he wrote the libretto based on an episode from his childhood, when his father presided over a murder trial involving a love triangle. Some critics maintain that in reality the basis was a French play. The opera was premiered in Milan to mixed critical reviews and great popular acclaim. It became the first complete opera ever to be recorded and the aria Vesti la giubba (Put on the costume) became a signature piece of the great Caruso (his recording of the aria was the first to sell one million copies). Here’s Luciano Pavarotti, in a 1994 recording with the Met orchestra and James Levine.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