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
March 2, 2015. Plentiful week. This is one of those weeks when we feel somewhat overwhelmed: Bedřich Smetana, Antonio Vivaldi, Maurice Ravel, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Carlo Gesualdo were all born this week. Plus, Frédéric Chopin’s birthday was yesterday, March 1st. We have about 400 recordings of Chopin’s works, so it’s almost impossible to pick just one. Here’s the recording of Chopin’s Ballade no. 4 in f minor, Op. 52 that our listeners seem like. It’s performed live, by the still young Russian-American pianist Elena Baksht.
The lives of these composers span four centuries; we’ve written about all five of them in the past, so we’ll just play some of their music. Carlo Gesualdo, the Prince of Venosa, a late Renaissance composer, lutenist and murderer (he famously stabbed his wife and her lover after discovering them in bed), was born on March 8th of 1560. He wrote a large number of madrigals, many of which display amazing chromatic modulations that are centuries ahead of their time. Here’s an example, Omnes amici mei dereliquerunt me (All my friends abandoned me), a section from his Tenebrae Responsoria on the text from the Passion.
Antonio Vivaldi was born on March 4th of 1678, more than 100 years later. If Gesualdo belonged to the late Renaissance period, Vivaldi is the epitome of the late Baroque. Vivaldi is so popular these days that it’s hard to imagine that up till the 1930s he was practically unknown. It took the diligent work of Olga Rudge, the violinist more known as the lover of Ezra Pound, and Pound himself, working under the auspices of the Mussolini regime, to uncover hundreds of Vivaldi’s manuscripts. Vivaldi wrote hundreds of violin concertos. Here’s his Concerto for Four Violinsin B minor RV 580. It’s performed by the ensemble I Solisti Italiani. Johann Sebastian Bach liked it so much that he arranged it for four clavichords. We know it as Bach’s Concerto BWV1065.
One year ago we celebrated the tricentennial of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, who was born on March 8th of 1714 in Weimar, the fifth child of Johann Sebastian and Maria Barbara Bach, Johann Sebastian’s first wife. Three of his older siblings died in infancy, so he became the second-oldest surviving son. A major figure of the transitional period between the Baroque and what became known as the “Classical” period, he was influenced by the music of his father, his godfather Georg Philipp Telemann and George Frideric Handel. He wrote a number of symphonies, and many works for the keyboard, both concertos and sonatas. Here’s CPE Bach’s Symphony in E minor, Wq. 178, written in Berlin in 1756, the year Mozart was born. It’s performed by the Academy for Ancient Music Berlin.
Bedřich Smetana was born on March 2nd of 1824. Considered the father of Czech music, he was one of the first “nationalist” composers with aspirations and sensibilities shared by the Russian “Mighty Five” and his younger countryman Antonin Dvořák. Here’s one of Smetana’s most popular works, Vltava, from his set of symphonic poems Má vlast.
And lastly, chronologically but certainly not in terms of either talent or popularity, Maurice Ravel, who was born on March 7th of 1875. Here’s his Alborada del Cracioso, from Mirroirs. It’s performed by the Italian pianist Igor Cognolato.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