Ten classical pieces to listen to before you’re 30

The latest instalment of our 'before you're 30' series concerns classical music. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but a browse of our list below could inspire a new lifelong passion, or elevate your pub quiz game.

For a lot of newcomers to classical music, film scores have been a useful gateway. Spotify is awash with “workout” playlists featuring the music of Hans Zimmer, a composer so mainstream, he is now a regular on the music festival circuit.

Lockdown is the perfect time to become more acquainted with classical music, that is why Attaboy has compiled a list of pieces to listen to before you’re 30. Unlike most music that can be found on popular radio, the music below is long-lasting and more rewarding.

1. Allegri, Miserere: 17th century Sistine chapel vibes with the most famous top note in sacred music.     

2. J.S. Bach, The 6 Brandenburg Concertos: Approachable 18th century baroque sophistication.

3. Mozart, Piano Concerto no.23 in A major: There are 27 and this has one of the most sublime of slow movements.

4. Beethoven, String Quartet  in C sharp minor op.131: Not for the faint-hearted as a virtually deaf Beethoven takes you on a personal tour of mystery and elation with a few jokes here and there

5. Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique: A besotted opium taker’s trip to hell. No return tickets.

6. Wagner, Prelude to Tristan und Isolde: Wagner rewrites the rule book and music was never the same again.

7.  Debussy, La Mer: Finished in Eastbourne, but this impressionistic sea view takes us much further afield.

8. Richard Strauss, An Alpine Symphony: Massive orchestral forces on a filmic journey up a mountain and back.

9. Mahler, Symphony no.9: Mahler’s farewell to life. Look out for ‘abide with me’ in the soul-wrenching last movement.

10. Britten, War Requiem: Eternally moving pacifist statement from the sixties combining Latin liturgy with the Great War poems of Wilfred Owen.


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