Free Classical Music for the Parsimonious

Among the things I’ve loved since I was in my teens is classical music and I’m a regular listener to BBC Radio 3 and RTÉ Lyric FM (but not Classic FM – I don’t like the voices or the style of the presenters, and as for the commercial breaks, ugh!)

During my London years I had a vast record collection of classical music. I had LPs dating back more than fifty years, including some of the first LPs commercially available in Britain. And that’s in addition to the cassettes, some more than twenty years old, and the CDs, not so old but none the less valuable. But it all got out of hand, too big and too expensive and I had to leave it all behind back in March.

But lately I’ve been rebuilding my collection, not on LPs or cassettes or CDs. No, I can’t be bothered to trawl through thousands of records in a record shop to find the cheapest recording anymore. I’ve come across a site that offers free downloads of classical music. It is (take a note of this!)

It’s the Petrucci Music Library and at present it is home to 46,118 works, 141,663 scores, 5,319 recordings, 6,704 composers and 149 performers. And those numbers are constantly increasing.

The only problem is, downloading mp3 files onto my mobile phone is so painfully slow. Last night I downloaded C.P.E. Bach’s Flute Concerto in G major. The total size of the three files is 48MB. They took a total of five hours to download. Just as well I hardly ever receive any calls!