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25 Most Famous Classical Music Pieces (Classical Songs)

January 16, 2023
most famous classical music

Not everyone has a taste for classical music.

However, those familiar with famous classical music will rave about the complex genre.

If your interests are piqued, and you’re looking for some great classical songs, we have just the classical music list for you.

1. “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi

“The Four Seasons” is among Vivaldi’s well-known classical music.

The song comprises four violin concertos, each depicting one of the four seasons.

With the timeless classical piece, Vivaldi proved that program music could be elegant and luxurious.

2. “Requiem” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

With his unique compositions, Mozart gave us some of the best classical music of all time.

The mourning vibes you get from “Requiem” make sense because the composer wrote it while on his deathbed.

Mozart died before completing the composition, so his pupil, Franz Xaver Süssmayr, finished the old classical piece after Mozart’s death.

3. “Für Elise” by Ludwig Van Beethoven

“Für Elise” is one of  Beethoven’s most famous classical songs and was published forty years after the famous composer’s death.

The “Elise” referenced in the title is assumed to be a close friend of the late composer.

This classical piece of music is a common composition people learn to play on the piano.

4. “Carmen” by Georges Bizet

Even if you aren’t a big opera fan, you must be familiar with the opera, “Carmen” from being frequently referenced in tv shows and books.

The popular classical music piece tells the story of the destruction of a native soldier who kills the woman he loved, Carmen, in a jealous rage.

5. “Symphony No. 5” by Ludwig Van Beethoven 

“Symphony No. 5” by Ludwig Van Beethoven is perhaps the most famous classical song of all time because of how often it is used in movies and shows.

The first part of the composition is widely recognized and never fails to evoke a sense of drama and mystery in the listener.

6. “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

“Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, also known as “Serenade No. 13” by Mozart, is among the composer’s most celebrated serenades.

The German title can be translated to “a little night music.” 

The composition is among the famous orchestra songs played today and was mainly composed to be played in homes and ballrooms.

7. “Moonlight Sonata” by Ludwig Van Beethoven

Originally known as “Quasi Una Fantasia, Op. 27, No. 2”, “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven was widely recognized at the time it was created. 

The well-known classical music piece got its name, “Moonlight Sonata,” after a critic expressed how the composition resembled moonlight shining over Lake Lucerne.

8. “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach

“Toccata and Fugue in D minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most famous pieces of classical music and was composed mainly to be played on the organ.

The classic piece has frequently been played as horror music or as a villain’s background tune in movies and cartoons.

9. “Canon In D Major” by Johann Pachelbel

“Canon In D Major” by Johann Pachelbel is considered a recital favorite.

If you’re looking for great classical music to play at your wedding or any other event, “Canon In D Major” is a fail-safe choice.

The composition’s chord progression has even been incorporated into many pop songs.

10. “Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2” by Chopin

If you’re looking for some top classical music to vibe with your existential mood, “Nocturne, Op. 9, No. 2” by Chopin is the music for you.

It’s one of today’s most recognizable classical songs, frequently used in television series and movies.

11. “Clair De Lune” by Claude Debussy

“Clair De Lune” by Claude Debussy has been featured in many famous movies like “Twilight” and “Ocean’s Eleven”

The composition was published 15 years after it was made and is easier to play on the piano compared to the other top classical songs on this list.

12. “Boléro” by Maurice Ravel 

“Boléro” by Maurice Ravel was initially commissioned to be played as a ballet number.

Dancer Ida Rubenstein and her group’s performance of the piece at the Paris Opera made it an instant hit.

The song is considered Ravel’s most famous piece of classical music.

13. “In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg 

“In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg is among the most popular classical songs.

It is well-known for being used by famous pop bands like Electric Light Orchestra.

The music was originally composed for the play, “Peer Gynt” and was even adapted as a theme tune for Alton towers. 

14. “Swan Lake Suite Op. 20: Scene: Enchanted Lake” by Tchaikovsky

“Swan Lake Sui Op. 20: Scene: Enchanted Lake” by Tchaikovsky is a famous classical ballet score.

The popularity of the piece was reignited recently after it was used in TikTok edits by multiple users.

15. “Hungarian Rhapsody No.2” by Franz Liszt  

When it comes to the most popular classic songs, mentioning “Hungarian Rhapsody No.2” by Franz Liszt is a must.

Don’t be surprised when you’re hit by a wave of nostalgia when listening to this classical song because it’s been used in many famous cartoons.

These include Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and Sesame Street among others.

16. “Hallelujah Chorus” by George Frideric Handel

“Hallelujah Chorus” by George Frideric Handel was a saving grace for the composer’s career and saved him from going to prison for debt.

The composer would often skip meals when composing this piece.

The divinity of the music will give you a sense of peace and is a must-listen if you’re into Christian songs

17. “Also Sprach Zarathustra Op. 30” by Johann Strauss II

“Also Sprach Zarathustra Op. 30” by Strauss is the composer’s most famous classical song.

It was used in the film, “2001: A Space Odyssey” which was released in 1968 and is a favorite among sci-fi fans for its celestial vibes.

18. “The Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss II

“The Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss II is another classical piece from the same composer that was also used in “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

The song was used in the movie’s opening sequence and is famous in Austria for its association with Vienna.

19. “Gymnopédie No. 1” by Erik Satie

“Gymnopédie No. 1” by Erik Satie is the first from the composer’s “Trois Gymnopédies” compositions.

It is one of the popular classical songs and is often recognized because of it being used in the popular game, “Minecraft.”

20. “Ride of the Valkyries” by Richard Wagner

“Ride of the Valkyries” by Richard Wagner is famous for being used in act 3 of the opera, “Walküre.”

The opera tells the story of maidens called “Valkyries” who are assigned to bring martyred heroes to their deserved resting places.

21. “Nessun Dorma” by Puccini 

“Nessun Dorma” be translated into the English language as “Let no one sleep.”

This composition by Puccini is one of his best classical songs and is famous for being used in the final act of the opera, “Turandot.”

22. “Dance of the Knights” by Prokofiev 

“Dance of the Knights” by Prokofiev is among the most famous classical music of all time for being used in the ballet, “Romeo and Juliet.”

The story is of two star-crossed lovers from rival families.

The classical piece perfectly captures the tragedy and drama of the famous romantic tale.

23. “Ave Maria” by Schubert

“Ave Maria” is Latin for “Hail Mary” and the piece itself is a prayer to Virgin Mary.

The track is considered among the best classic songs and was originally composed for the poem “The Lady of the Lake”.

24. “The Nutcracker Op. 71, Act II. No. 13 Waltz Of The Flowers” by Tchaikovsky

“The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act II. No. 13 Waltz Of The Flowers” by Tchaikovsky is among the classical songs everyone knows due to its yearly appearance during the Christmas season.

Even if you haven’t watched “The Nutcracker”, chances are you’ve heard the magical piece at a dance recital.

25. “Overture from The Marriage of Figaro” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 

From ads to movies to pop songs, “Overture from The Marriage of Figaro” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart can be found everywhere.

The tune was also played in the famous movie, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” when Willy Wonka opens his factory doors.

Most Famous Classical Music Pieces – Final Thoughts

Wrapping up this fantastic list of classical music, you can see how each composer contributed to the genre with their magic touch.

From Mozart to Beethoven to Vivaldi, we’re sure you’ll be fanning over each of their unique compositions.

These iconic examples of classical music will intrigue you to explore more of the genre.

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Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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