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Founded in April 2003 by Alessandro Simonetto, pianist, producer and sound engineer, it enlists selected first-prize international contest winners and young talented musicians who do not hold exclusive contracts with managers or traditional recording houses.
OnClassical was the first Italian label to produce, realize, distribute and sell recordings through the web and amongst the first to apply the new philosophy of Creative Commons to MP3 and other files.
Its website started as a simple collection of classical music performances, still not grouped into albums or CD's. Only in January 2004 (second version) it evolved as an online record label and a mobile recording studio working with its own equipment. The third, of February 2005 (the 14th), and the last version, of July 2007 (the 14th), have always maintained the graphic unchanged (white blackground with yellow left border) and the main concepts tied to contents and licences.
OnClassical has no relationship with intermediators, or even right societies due to the facts it threats only public domain music.
The new version
With the last version of onclassical.com substantial innovationes have been introduced such as the only publication of self-produced recordings (as realized by the founder) and a close selection of the better productions. In particular albums are now sold in CD uncompressed format (PCM / WAV, at 44.1 kHz * 16bit, with no DRM protection) to avoid problems tied to the quality maintenaince due to the eventual decompression of compressed files (as MP3, Ogg vorbis) in the operations of burning-to-cd. Actually at OnClassical it is possible to download the exact copy of the master as originally produced.
Moreover visitors may previously listen to the entire CD, compressed in low-quality MP3 files, which are Creative Commons BY-NC-SA, 1.0 licensed. Each album is sold at a price based on the visitors preference. An alert informs the purchaser that artists earn 50% from profits given to downloadings of their albums.
Under the new release, the site also contains some new features such as the possibility to print high quality art-covers (available through PDF format) and the grant of permission to use all files derived from encoding of the high-quality albums on own iPods, Creative and portable devices.
The quality (of the new version)
OnClassical claims for each recording a high standard of professionalism. The recordings are made with particular care, capturing only natural sounds which are not successively manipulated. Renowned piano manufacturers, Bösendorfer, evaluated Alessandro Simonetto's recording made at Capri isle, in which he reproduced a performance by the pianist Gianluca Luisi, as excellent work .
Today the catalogue has only c. 30 titles to choose (a selection of only 0.5% of all production) and some new recordings, as the complete Bach's board works, signed by the Saarbrücken's winner Gianluca Luisi, are announced. Amongst the titles there are some world first recordings such as the complete Album für die Jugend by Robert Schumann (of 70 pieces instead of the traditional 43) played by the Italian pianist Marco Tezza, and the album Verdi's Fantasie Brillanti with unedited violin transcriptions from Giuseppe Verdi's operas played by Luca Fanfoni, a Paganini competition winner.
- Massimiliano Pitocco (on 2nd v.)
- Alessandra Maria Ammara (on 1st v.)
- Maurizio Baglini (on 1st/2nd v.)
- Yuri Blinov (on 1st/2nd v.)
- Sandrine Erdely-Sayo (on 1st/2nd v.)
- Pierre Feraux
- Rustem Hayroudinoff (on 1st v.)
- Gianluca Luisi
- Aleksandra Mikulska (on 1st/2nd v.)
- Alberto Nosè (on 2nd v.)
- Antonio Palareti
- Daniele Petralia
- Roberto Poli
- Roberto Prosseda (on 1st v.)
- Giampaolo Stuani
- Marco Tezza
- Stefano Demicheli (OnClassical compilation)
- Simone Stella
- Kevin Kastning
- Pablo Lentini Riva
- Sándor Szabó
- Saverio Tasca
- Daniele Roccato (OnClassical compilation)
- The name OnClassical means On[Line]Classical[Music] or On[about] Classical[ Music]). The motto of the label is A new Way to Think about Music where the word think is rotated by 180 degrees and coloured green.
- OnClassical company furnishes the largest quantity of the classical music for Jamendo pro: the commercial program for music licensing at jamendo.com. 
- Mr. Simonetto is also the founder of kunstderfuge.com, a large (it counts c. 17,000 files) and free MIDI resource of classical music since 2002.
- Interview of Alessandro Simonetto by Enzo Fantin, IX/2005
- Interview by creativecommons.org, XI/2007
- Citation on Creative Commons – Italy, VI/2006
General and useful links
- OnClassical at the Archive (free files in MP3 or Ogg formats)
- OnClassical relaunches at the Creative Commons' bloges:OnClassical