String Trio for Boston Weddings

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Wedding Music

A wedding without music is like a cake without icing - it's incomplete. The right music helps to create the mood of solemnity and joy important to a marriage ceremony, no matter where it takes place. Music also adds a festive and sentimental touch to a wedding reception. The rules on wedding music vary according to the religious faith and the individual clergyman, but there is one thing on which all agree-secular music has no place at a religious ceremony. Some churches insist that all music be in praise of or a prayer to God. Others allow secular music to be played but not sung. Still others permit selected pieces of secular music if the bride insists, but do so reluctantly. The familiar wedding marches-the ''Bridal Chorus'' from Wagner's "Lohengrin'' ( popularly known as "Here Comes the
bride" and the wedding march from Mendelssohn's "Midsummer night's Dream''-are both secular music. According to some music authorities, they are trite, undistinguished works which owe much of their popularity to Hollywood. Others object to their context in the works from which they
are taken. The "bridal Chorus'' is sung after the doomed wedding of Elsa and Lohengrin, while the Mendelssohn march accompanies the clowning of Bottom and Flute. Even those who are unfamiliar with the original works may find, when they hear the organ play ''Here Comes the bride" that their minds supply the words, ''big, fat and wide". Despite all the objections, the wedding marches continue to be played. Many brides are unaware of the wealth of beautiful, appropriate music available. A1l might do well to solicit the advice and suggestions of the church organist or choir director (who will probably have to approve your choice of music in any event) .

At a formal church wedding, it's customary to have a recital of organ music starting about thirty minutes before the ceremony. This music is usually played softly, but should not be monotonous in mood or tone. Among the many suitable feces you might want to consider are: "Adagio,'' ''Sheep May Safely graze", and ''Sleepers Awake'' by Bach, ''Adagio in E
from Violin Sonata'' and "Air'' by Handel, ''Prelude Number Two'' by Mendelssohn, and "My Jesus Calls to Me'' by Brahms. A choir ( which may or may not lead the processional) is permitted in many Protestant churches. but vocal solos are more usual. The permission of the minister is, of course, required for any vocal music. Some clergymen feel that a solo-especially one as dramatic as Malotte's ''Lord's Prayer'' -is more in the line of entertainment than worship. Others allow solos during the pre-wedding recital, but consider any music played during the actual service to be an intrusion upon the solemnity of the marriage ceremony Itself. Such old favorites as "0 Promise Me '' "Be cause '' "I Love You Truly'' and ''Through the Years'' are stall sung at some Protestant weddings, but their secular and sentimental nature is really mole suitable for a reception.
Processional music should be joyous and triumphal, but it needn't be in march tempo since the wedding party walks at a natural pace. A number of hymns have organ arrangements which meet the requirements beautifully. Among the most widely recommended selections for processionals are Purcell's "Voluntary'' and "Trumpet Tunes. Other good
Voices are Franck's "'Fantasie in C,'' Bach's ''Sinfonia'' from ''Wedding Cantata,'' and Brahms' "St Anthony Chorale'' from variations on a Theme by Haydn '' You may also want to consider "Praise, My Soul, the King of heaven's" the processional hymn chosen by Queen Elizabeth for her Westminster Abbey wedding in 1947. Many of the pieces suggested for the wedding processional are suitable for the recessional, as well. Also excellent are Handel's "Allegro'' Purcell's ''Bell symphonys" and Marcello's psalm 19.:' Your organist will probably be able to suggest many others.

Secular music of all kinds-including the usual wedding
marches-is prohibited in most Catholic churches. Liturgical
music and the hymns sung at regular Masses are the general rule. A choir sometimes sings the music at a high Mass, but this is entirely optional Solos are usually permitted at appropriate times before and during the ceremony. In addition to the many versions of the "Ave Maria" you might want to consider Franck's "Panis Angelicus'' Mozart's ''Ave Verum,'' or Ravello's "Deo Gratias.'' The processional and recessional pieces recommended for Protestant weddings are also generally acceptable.

Although instrumental music has been an essential part of
Jewish weddings for centuries, there was never any music
specifically created for this purpose. Contemporary Jewish
musicians have attempted to fill this void, but their compositions have not gained full acceptance and popularity as yet. The wedding marches are permitted at many Reform
weddings, but Orthodox and Conservative rabbis generally
frown upon their use.

Whether you plan to have dancing or not, you'll probably
want to have some kind of music at your wedding reception-even if it's only from a phonograph. You may have a pianist playing in the background, an accordionist circulating
among the guests, a string trio in the corner, or a small
orchestra on a raised platform. You may also have a soloist
singing some of your favorite sentimental ballads, if you wish. Almost any popular tunes or old standards are appropriate at a wedding reception, but jazz and rock 'n' roll are not in the best taste. It's advisable to give the musicians a list of your favorites in advance. If you're fond of "Here Comes the bride" have them play it as you and your groom enter the room. Also be sure to specify what ( if anything) you want played while you cut the cake. Otherwise, the musicians may lay "The Bride Cuts the Cake'' (to the tune of "Farmer in the Dell" whether you want it or not.

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