What are the top 10 best classical music ever?

I'm getting into classical music and I'm trying to purchase some cds, so I would like to know what are the most commonly known to be the very best ever. Has any legitimate website, magazine or any other mean done a top 10 list or something like that?

It could be your own personal favorite, but would love a list from a professional website or something similar if possible. Thanks

9 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is what you're looking for. There are indeed commonly known classical music pieces, and these are it...



  • 4 years ago

    1. Art Rock. 2. Progressive Rock. 3. Baroque. 4. Classical. 5. Psychedelica. 6. Jazz. 7. Post Punk. 8. Chamber Pop. 9. Dubstep. 10. Baroque Pop.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm sure that there's loads of websites that have such lists though obviously no two are going to be identical.

    The one I've gave the link to below lists a top 10 of must buy CDS as well other categories.

    Such as top 10 by composer,era,genre etc.

    Of the CD list they name the CD that I absolutely agree with and that seems to be on every list I've ever seen is Beethoven's Symphony Nos.5 & 7 conducted by Carlos Kleiber and the Vienna Philharmonic on the deutsche grammophon label..

  • 1 decade ago

    One of my favorite books on the subject and specifically aimed at people in your situation is "The NPR Guide of Building a Classical CD Collection."

    It covers the top 350 'essential' works and divides the classical canon by composer and genre [Orchestral, concertos, solo instrument, sacred, opera, etc.]

    It is written by Ted Libbey and is available in paperback for a very modest price. Armed with this you can't go far wrong.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 1 decade ago


    I personally would recommend

    Tchaikowsky's 1812 Overture

    Beethoven's 5th symphony

    Brahms's 4th symphony

    Death and the Maiden by Schubert

    The Goldberg Variations by Bach as recorded by Glenn Gould

    and Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov as a good start.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I have to strongly disagree with the first poster who says a top ten list can't be trusted because it's based on people's opinion... and then he gives his opinion. Oh, and his opinion on people who offer their opinion! Ignorant, lazy? Really?

    You have to start somewhere. And someone else's opinion on the top ten pieces is just as valid as say... his opinion on what composers to start with.

    He does make a good point that you have to decide for yourself. There are a few great links on this page. Follow them and you'll have a great start!

  • 1 decade ago

    As one other person said you really can't put classical pieces in a favorite or best known order. But, personally my favorites are

    Toccata in D Minor

    Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

    Fur Elise


    Pachebel's Canon


    Beethoven's 5th

    Minuet in F by Mozart


    Moonlight Sonata

    They were in no paticular order. Here is a sight that I use frequently, it has the top five downloads of classical music.


  • In no perticular order these are my alltime favorite classical composers.

    Niccolò Paganini.


    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Antonio Vivaldi

  • 1 decade ago

    You cannot qualify classical music in this way. There is no 'commonly known' best music. There are literally 100s of great pieces and 1000s of wonderful works generally. All you will receive here are other people's opinions - people whose taste might be very different from yours. It is also unwise to ask for other people's favourites for the same reason.You might not like what other people like and listening to THEIR favourites might put you off.

    I know you have to start somewhere, however, and what I would advise is some judicious listenig to decide FOR YOURSELF what you like. Start with composers such as Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Handel and perhaps Mozart. Apart from being great music, their appeal is quite general for those not used to listening to a lot of classical music. Leave Bach for a little while because, although arguably the finest compositional genius of all time, his music often demands the sort of concentration that comes with a little experience.

    The best strategy is, however, try it and see what suits YOU - not what complete strangers say they like. Be adventurous at all times and you will discover some wondrous music. You will get people telling you they love Beethoven's 'Für Elise' and 'Moonlight' Sonata (although most of them will only know the first movement!), Pachelbel's Canon, Debussy's 'Clair de lune' and Orff's 'O, Fortuna!'. These people know about 6 pieces of music and think that's it. They are ignorant and lazy and can't be bothered to explore further. Don't fall into their trap. Explore, discover, search and find. Above all - have fun!

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.