Classical music has the word classic in it for a reason. Some of the most beautiful, timeless songs are classical songs. Are you hungry to learn more about the great classical composers of our time? Perhaps you want to know the most popular classical music? Whether you are craving Tchaivosky, have recently discovered Mozart, or just really love Beethoven, we’ve compiled a classical music guide of the best classical music that will help you get started. This list covers the most famous classical music as well as some of the most popular classical music.
If you want to learn about famous classical music, you have to understand that the classical songs that everyone knows cover a very large time frame spanning over the last millennium. Some of the best classical songs were composed ages ago, making diving into the genre difficult.
Headliner’s Classical Music Guide:
If you’re looking for the best of classical music, we’ve picked out some top favorites below. These beautiful and iconic pieces are some of the classic songs everyone knows, and with good reason! These famous classical songs are not only well-known, but they are a wonderful starting place to jump into the genre.
‘Symphony No.5′ – Ludwig van Beethoven: You probably know a Beethoven piece before even realising it is Beethoven! Famously, Symphony No.5 starts out with one of the most memorable starts within musical history. Symphony No.5 absolutely had to make its way onto our list! Although this piece constitutes a traditional symphony with four movements, it is highly regarded as groundbreaking work. Beethoven fearless kickstarted the Romantic era with a symphony that embraces intense emotion and passion within a piece, instead of adhering to a typically quieter and softer approach.
‘Piano Concerto No.2′ – Sergei Rachmaninoff: Speaking of the Romantic era movement, we can’t speak passion without acknowledging Rachmininoff. His Piano Concerto No.2 screams Romantic era. From the passionate (and incredibly difficult) piano work to the lush orchestral sound. These harmonies are certain to take your breath away!
‘Clair de lune’ – Claude Debussy: If symphonies aren’t your thing and you’re more interested in the beauty of a solo piano, Debussy is your man! In fact, you might already recognise Claude Debussy’s ‘Clair de lune.’ A beautiful piece dedicated to painting a picture for the listener of moonlight reflected in the water. In fact, the name ‘Clair de lune’ actually means ‘Moonlight’, Debussy is associated as Impressionist due to composing around the same time as Impressionist painters. However, much is to be said about his innate ability and talent towards actually capturing the impression of a moment or place.
‘Canon in D’ – Johann Pachelbel: Perhaps Canon in D is one of the most well known classics? One of the only songs Pachelbel is remembered for, this classic would have been considered to be number 1 on the hit charts back in the day! Played down many wedding aisles, graduation ceremonies and even on commercials, you probably knew about this song before you knew you knew it.
‘The Firebird’ – Igor Stravinsky: If you’re looking for something a little less gentle and rhythmic than Pachelbel’s Canon – you might want to look towards ‘The Firebird’. This Russian classic was originally written to tell Prince Ivan’s story. He was both an evil sorcerer and a magical firebird. The piece itself matches this fiery personality, with an eerily melodic piece that will keep you in a dream (or nightmare) throughout.
‘Zadok the Priest’ – George Frideric Handel: Ever wonder what song is played at the coronation of every British Monarch? Look no further than Zadok the Priest! Performed at every coronation since 1727, you can listen to this famous tune while munching on coronation chicken.
While the song has biblical significance, coming from the story of the coronation of King Solomon, most significantly to the modern listener, it’s incorporated quite extensively into British History.
The Planets – Gustav Hoist: Looking for a wonderful orchestral piece? Perhaps you’re also into astrology? The Planet was written for an orchestra and is composed of seven movements. These seven sections actually correlate with the zodiac! They represent each of the planets and their characteristics as explained by astrology.
Last but not least – we’ve put all of these beautiful songs into a Spotify playlist for you, so you can listen along!
Think we’ve missed some important classics? Let us know in the comments!