12 Recommended Classical Pieces to Inspire Beginners

Overwhelmed with the titles that don’t make sense to you? What does concerto and symphony even mean? Why do some pieces have single letters and numbers in their titles?

The best way to start appreciating classical music is to listen to them. Worry about the forms later. You will be able to make sense of the musical terms once you have heard the best examples from the genre too.

Here are some pieces that might inspire you.

1. Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op.67: I. Allegro con brio by Ludwig van Beethoven

The opening might seem familiar to you. This piece has been used so many times in television and film.

2. The Four Seasons, Concerto No. 1 ‘Spring’ (Op.8 No. 1): I. Allegro by Antonio Vivaldi
This one will sound familiar to you too. Its bouncy tune will remind you of fresh flowers. You might want to listen to all of his Four Seasons compositions as well.

3. Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninoff

This piece has also been used in films. Rachmaninoff is known for his dramatic works. Try listening to the first movement of this piece and be moved.

4. Moonlight Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven

Moonlight Sonata is one of the most popular pieces for piano, especially for beginners. You may have also heard this song played many times.

5. Toccata: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565 by Johann Sebastian Bach

The song will certainly remind you of those old vampire movies. This was also featured in Walt Disney’s film Fantasia.

6. Ave verum corpus, K.618 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

One of the only two entries in this list with vocals. Classical music also had lyrics like this one. This was written just months before Mozart’s death.

7. Triumphal Chorus & Grand March from Aida by Giuseppe Verdi

This is probably one of the most recognizable classical music pieces. It lives up to its title. That’s why it’s often used in graduation marches.

8. 1812 Overture, Op.49 (conclusion) by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Listening to this one will remind you of the battle scenes in countless war movies or maybe a triumphant march of victorious soldiers. You decide.

9. Cello Suite No.1 in G by Johann Sebastian Bach

Close your eyes while listening to this and imagine yourself wearing a fancy dress at a fine dining restaurant.

10. Also sprach Zarathustra, Op.30 by Richard Strauss

This piece was used in the film adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey. If you listen to it, then you will understand why. The title is inspired by the eponymous work of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

11. Canon In D Major by Johann Pachelbel

This is mostly used in weddings. Listening to it, you’ll know it’s the perfect piece for a garden wedding on a beautiful sunny day.

12. Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber

This 20th century piece is known as the saddest classical music ever written. Why? Well, you’d have to listen to it yourself.