Being familiar with the classics in any genre is a factor in one’s overall cultural awareness. In jazz, there’s Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight.” In country, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” In R&B, everyone should know Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” is a hip-hop classic; Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” is one of the greatest pop songs of all time.
Classical music is a tougher nut to crack, not only because it has centuries of history behind it, but also because it seems classical music lovers belong to an exclusive club, throwing around terms like partita, singspiel and von Karajan.
For the classical curious, cutting through the mystique may be a challenge, but we’re here to help. Don’t be that person who says their favourite piece of classical music is Phantom of the Opera. Get to know the following works, and build your classical music foundation.
Learn about the 10 pieces of classical music everyone should know from CBC Music.