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 21, 2014. Prokofiev and Torelli. Sergei Prokofiev’s birthday is this week: he was born on April 23rd (new style) of 1891. Prokofiev was not only a composer of huge talent, he was also a wonderful pianist (his recording of Mussorgsy’s Pictures at an Exhibition, for example, is one of the best). He premiered all but one of his piano concertos, even though some of them are among the most difficult works for the instrument (his concerto no. 4, for the left hand and written for Paul Wittgenstein who lost his right arm during WWI, was never performed during Prokofiev’s lifetime). Prokofiev wrote his first concerto in 1911-1912, while still at studying at the St-Petersburg Conservatory. The premier took place in Moscow in August of 1912. Two years later he submitted the same work for the Anton Rubinstein competition, which was to determine the best pianist in the graduating class. At the time Prokofiev joked that as the work was new, the judges wouldn’t know whether he was playing it right or not. We don’t know if that was the reason, but Prokofiev indeed won the competition, even if Glazunov, the head of the jury, was rather reluctant to award him the first prize. The first piano concerto is in one movement and the shortest of the five he’d eventually write. It’s full of energy and youthful charisma. Here it is, in the 1952 performance by Sviatoslav Richter with what used to be called the Moscow Youth Symphony, the orchestra, which one year later became the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. Kirill Kondrashin, its music director of many years, is conducting.
Prokofiev started working on his second piano concerto almost immediately after completing the first one, in 1912. He finished it in 1913 and dedicated it to Maximilian Schmidthof, his friend from the Conservatory, who committed suicide in the spring of that year. The work was premiered in Pavlovsk, outside of St.-Petersburg, in August, in a concert for the Russian Musical Society. The public was scandalized. Viacheslav Karatygin, a critic, reported that the concerto “left listeners frozen with fright, hair standing on end.” Another critic called it “a cacophony of sounds that has nothing in common with civilized music.” During the Revolution of 1917 the orchestral score was lost, and Prokofiev rewrote it in 1923, changing it considerably in the process. By then Prokofiev had emigrated from Russia, married a Spanish singer, and was living in Paris. He played at the second premier in Paris in 1924, with Serge Koussevitzky conducting, and the reception was not much better than that of 10 years earlier in Russia. These days it’s considered a classic. The concerto is technically extremely challenging. Prokofiev himself stopped playing it shortly after the premier. Sviatoslav Richter never played Piano concerto no. 2, even though he considered it one of the most fundamental in all piano literature. Martha Argerich didn’t play it either. We’ll hear it in the performance by Evgeny Kissin, technically one of the most gifted pianists of his generation; the Philharmonia Orchestra is lead by Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Giuseppe Torelli, a minor Baroque composer, was born on April 22nd, 1658 in Verona. He studied the violin, but ended up composing a large number of trumpet concertos (he also wrote many concerti grosso). Here’s one of them, a very pleasant Trumpet concerto in D Major. Alison Balsom is playing the trumpet, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is lead by Thomas Klug.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