Klassika is an online music encyclopedia focused on composers and their works. As a music reference source, it might best be described as an extensive guide to the works of both major and less well-known composers in the Western classical tradition. As such, it shows some of the inherent lack of diversity associated with many sources dealing with the “canon” of classical music. It is fair to note that site manager welcomes additional information where entries are incomplete or missing. The aim is to provide complete works lists for each composer with links to corresponding commercially available recordings and scores. It shares some similarities with MusicBrainz, a site that is perhaps more familiar to music librarians in North America. Klassika currently lists 6,458 composers and 116,100 works.
Entries for each composer consist of essential biographical
dates and places, a catalog of works, links to authority records (usually from
the Deutsche National Bibliotheck and the Library of Congress) and wikipedia
articles (in various languages). When present, biographical information for
each composer is limited to a brief overview. The list of works is perhaps the
strongest feature of the entire site. When a thematic catalog exists for a
composer, that numbering system is used. The works lists can be sorted conveniently
by thematic catalog number, genre, title, and date of composition. Entry
details provide basic bibliographic information including variant titles,
genre, and date. Whenever possible, links are also provide to recordings and
scores of each work.
The recordings links connect to Passion for Music, a German vendor with
extensive offerings for classical and popular music. This site is available in both
a German and English interface. Passion for Music is noteworthy in its own
right. Descriptions for most recordings are very detailed including all the
basic bibliographic information, track lists, reviews, and photographs of both
the front cover and contents cover. Each track listing usually includes a brief
streaming excerpt which makes it possible to preview the music and performance.
Within Passion for Music, each entry offers links to related recordings of
music by the same composer and recommended recordings released by the same label.
Links to commercially available scores usually connect to the German vendor Notenlager.
While there is a focus on composers and their works, the
site offers much more including references to conductors (with similar
biographical information and links to recordings), librettists, lyricists,
genres, and music terms. The entries for conductors functions effectively as an
online discography of major conductors. Klassika further provides a directory of opera
house and concert hall websites and a current calendar of events.
A box at the bottom of the home page provides a calendar or chronology of past
music events that took place on the current date (like birthdays of composers
included in the site). One special and perhaps unique feature is a guide to music related
anniversaries, information not easily accessible online in such an
well-organized fashion. The guide to anniversaries can be search by birth date,
death date, Jubilee year, and a chronological annual overview.
Klassika also serves as a limited bibliography of thematic catalogs. It currently lists about 200 titles. For every title included in the bibliography links lead to a complete listing by thematic catalog number. These lists effectively interface with the biographical entries for each composer.
final note: Klassika offers its own monthly recommendations for new CDs
The site is well-maintained and there appear to be no dead
links. This site is offered in German, but do not ignore it if you cannot read
German. DeepL.com offer good, workable translations, and if you install the
DeepL client on your computer, simply repeating the copy command twice will
copy your selection and open it in DeepL for an immediate and useable
This site is offered in German, but do not ignore it if you cannot read German. DeepL.com offers good copy and paste translation. If you install the DeepL client on your computer, simply repeating the copy command twice will copy your selection and open it in DeepL for an immediate and useable translation.