Home You Don’t Have to Go to the Met to Get Your Symphony On

You Don’t Have to Go to the Met to Get Your Symphony On

An appropriate term to cover what we inaccurately call “classical music” is as elusive as a comprehensive definition of “poetry.” So I’m just going to rock the quotation marks as I turn you on to some great places to listen to, and sometimes watch, great “classical music” performances.

All the groups that make these offerings available also have a large menu of performances and subscription series you can pay to access. But for this post, let’s concentrate on the free stuff. I’m not trying to game the coat-and-tail crowd. But why not check it out before you shell it out?

The Metropolitan Opera’s Live Stream. The Live Stream is a free listen to the latest Met offering as it’s played. You can access it online and via mobile device. The next live stream, tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, is Puccini’s La Bohème.

Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall. One of the world’s great philharmonic’s offers live video recordings of each of its “home games” a few days after the performance. Those cost, but registered users can watch concert trailers, interviews with principal artists and access their Zukunft@BPhil education project. Zukunft@BPhil offers full-length documentaries on musical topics, rehearsals and more.

Chamber Music of Lincoln Center Streaming Radio. The CMS is devoted to small-group classical music. Their stream radio delivers programs with full performances.

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra’s RCO Live. Amsterdam’s 120 year-old orchestra provides free online video, audio and live concerts of symphonic music and opera. It also offers video profiles and interviews with conductors and composers.

Ars Antigua Presents. The Ars Antigua group plays, records and broadcasts podcasts devoted to “early music.” Although the website is ghastly, the podcasts, with their brief, smart introductions and energetic playing are not. The idea behind early music consorts is to reproduce the music, instruments and playing styles of the early days of what we now call classical music, usually covering the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods.

What’s your favorite research for classical music performance online? Tell us in the comments.

Photo of Mstislav Rostropovich by guano

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