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)