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
October 20, 2014. Franz Liszt. We’re marking the 113th birthday anniversary of the great Hungarian composer. Liszt was born on October 22nd of 1811 in a small village of Doborján (after the First World War that part of western Hungary was given to Austria; the town is now called Raiding). He grew up to become the greatest pianist of his time (and some believe of all time) and one of the most important composers of the 19th century. To celebrate, we‘re publishing an article by Joseph DuBose on the first of the three Années de pèlerinage piano suites, Première année: Suisse. We illustrate each piece (there are nine altogether in Première année) with performances by two young English pianists, Ashley Wass and Sodi Braide, both recorded in concerts, and two great Lisztians, the Cuban-American Jorge Bolet (1914 – 1990) and the Russian pianist Lazar Berman (1930 – 2005). The article follows. ♫
In early June 1835, Franz Liszt traveled from Paris to Switzerland. There, in Geneva, he met his mistress, Marie d’Agoult, who had recently left her husband and family for him. Over the next four years, they lived and journeyed throughout Switzerland and Italy. Inspired by the wondrous scenery of Switzerland and the rich cultural heritage of Italy, Liszt composed during these years a suite of piano pieces entitled Album d’un voyageur, a title which he likely adapted from that of a letter from George Sand: Lettre d’un voyageur. The suite was later published in 1842, after his relationship with d’Agoult had ended and he had returned to the life a touring virtuoso. However, Album would prove to be only the genesis of a much more significant collection of pieces. Between 1848 and 1854, Liszt revised several of its constituent pieces to form the first volume (Première année: Suisse) of his Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage)—indeed, only two emerged relatively unaltered. Besides being personal reflections of Liszt’s travels, the pieces that ultimately became part of Première année were imbued with a keen sense of the Romantic literature of his time. The title of Années de pèlerinage itself is a certain reference to Goethe’s famous novel Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahr, but mostly significantly, its sequel Wilhelm Meisters Wanderjahr, which in is first French translation was translated as “Years of Wanderings.” Furthermore, each piece was headed by quotations from Schiller, Byron, and Senancour, leading figures of the burgeoning Romantic Movement. The final result, Première Année: Suisse, was published in 1855. (Continue reading here.)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