10 gargantuan and epic pieces of classical music that will make you feel tiny in comparison

15 August 2016, 15:13 | Updated: 18 April 2018, 16:18

epic classical music

Big pieces, big orchestras, big sounds, big everything. These are the most epic pieces of classical music ever written.

So we were looking for pieces more epic than this:

And we think we've found some. Here we go...

Sibelius – Symphony No. 5

Go straight to the finale and bask in the epic majesty of Finland’s finest ever approximation of the call of a swan - obviously using the French horn.


Verdi – Aida

Verdi’s Aida is the grandest of grand operas, calling for gargantuan sets, huge orchestra forces and a chorus big enough to scale a pyramid.


Beethoven – Symphony No. 9

No biggie, just a symphony that attempts to incorporate ALL THAT IS GOOD AND RIGHT IN MANKIND’S STRUGGLE AGAINST DARKNESS.


Stravinsky – The Rite Of Spring

It reportedly caused a riot on its premiere, and it totally sounds like one too.


Saint-Saëns – Symphony No. 3

For sheer noise and impression, Saint-Saëns so-called ‘Organ’ symphony does the business like no other.


John Williams – Superman

Because nothing says ‘epic’ like a fictional superhero with his pants on outside his tights and a heroic theme played on French horn. Simple, effective, huge.


Haydn – The Creation

A piece in which the early classical legend attempts to recreate the dawn of mankind with only an orchestra and a chorus at his disposal. And he succeeds.


Brian – Symphony No. 1 (‘Gothic’)

Got a spare few hours? And a penchant for full orchestra, chorus and brass band sharing the stage? You’ll be in need of Havergal Brian’s gargantuan ‘Gothic’ symphony.


Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No. 3

It’s a popular work, but that doesn’t diminish the sheer scale of Rachmaninov’s vision for this work.


Tallis – Spem in Alium

There’s a bit late on in this choral masterpiece when 40 voices miraculously join together in breathtaking unison after swirling around each other – it’s the very definition of epic.