Wedding music: A Baroque and Classical program

La Rejouissance (G.F. Handel) from Music for the Royal Fireworks
Jet Set Strings


This weekend, Jet Set Strings played as a quartet, and I had the opportunity to choose wedding music from our Baroque repertoire. Even though the Baroque is part of the larger Classical genre, it’s a subset that was written between about 1600-1750. The list is long, but some of the big players in the composing world were Handel, Corelli, Bach, Telemann, Purcell, Rameau, Vivaldi and Pachelbel (Canon in D). Technically, the progression goes like this: Renaissance music, then the Baroque, then the Classical. In today’s terms, when clients are looking for the Classical sound for their wedding, it includes all below. One of my faves is La Rejouissance. It was part of a suite to accompany fireworks in London in 1749, and yesterday in 2016, I put it in the prelude. It would also be a good exit/recessional piece for a wedding ceremony – it’s a celebration!

Menuetto (Corelli)
La Réjouissance (Handel)
Passacaile (Handel)
Corrente (Corelli)
Air (Handel)
2 Minuets (Bach)
Largo from Winter (Vivaldi)

Seating of the Mothers:
Flower Duet from Lakme (Delibes)

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)

Canon in D (Pachelbel)

For the Beauty of the Earth
Blest Be the Tie that Binds

Hornpipe II/Allegro Maestoso (Handel)

Gearing up for fall ceremonies with Bach’s help

20160902_193232This Friday and Saturday happened to be beautiful in Nashville – low humidity, breezy, and down into the mid-80s during the day. It felt great to be outdoors, glancing up to see dusk settle over a clear blue sky. Here’s to more weather like that, and I hope your day is just as beautiful. Chances are, as we head into the months of September and October around here, that it will be just so. If you are planning your ceremony music, here are a few suggestions to help get you started.

The cool thing about Bach is that his compositions are largely independent of instrumentation – his keyboard works can be played on the violin, saxophone, accordion, and cello, for example. His works for solo violin cross over to banjo and mandolin. He was an employee of the church for most of his life, and the volume of his sacred works is pretty massive – being paid every week to conduct the choir and produce music for that Sunday’s service really adds up! Not to mention he lived a long life, and most likely, played his fair share of weddings.

  • Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bridesmaids, any Wedding Party Processionals)
  • Arioso from Cantata No. 156 (Seating of the Mothers or Grandmothers, Bridesmaids)
  • Bist Du bei Mir (Prelude/while guests arrive)
  • 2 Minuets in G, from the notebook for Anna Magdalena (Prelude. Anna M. was Bach’s wife; she also transcribed many of his works)
  • Suite No. 3 in D Major – includes the Bach Air (For Seatings – Mothers/Grandmothers/Family, or the Bride if she wants a softer entrance)
  • Prelude from Suite No. 1 – Unaccompanied Cello
  • The Bach Inventions – Examples: Invention in C, Invention in G (Jeff and I play these on violin/accordion. Great for violin/cello too. Prelude, or Exit/Recessional for the big Bach fans 😉
  • My Heart Ever Faithful (An Exit/Recessional option that’s not the traditional Mendelssohn Wedding March)