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A Bride’s Guide to Wedding Music
: Cantata BWV 147:Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring; Sheep May Safely Graze; Air on the G String
BOCCHERINI String Quartet Op.11: Minuet
VIVALDI Four Seasons: Winter, Largo; Spring, Allegro
SATIE Gymnopédie #1
GLUCK Dance of the blessed Spirits
WAGNER Lohengrin: Wedding March
CLARKE Trumpet Voluntary
HANDEL Royal Fireworks Music: Overture; Chandos Anthem: Zadok the Priest; Solomon: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba; Let the Bright Seraphim; Water Music: Air, Hornpipe; Messiah: Hallelujah Chorus
MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade
PURCELL Trumpet Tune
GOSS Praise my soul, King of heaven
TRADITIONAL Immortal, Invisible
PARRY Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
POSTON Jesus Christ the Apple Tree
FAURÉ Cantique de Jean Racine; Requiem: Pie Jesu; Sicilienne, Op 78
MOZART Laudate Dominum; Ave Verum Corpus
FRANCK Panis Angelicus
STANFORD The Blue Bird
MASSENET Thaïs: Méditation
WIDOR Toccata
WALTON Crown Imperial
BRITTEN Jubilate Deo
MENDELSSOHN Midsummer Night’s Dream music, Op 61: Wedding March
NAXOS 8.557246/7 [72.28 + 72.26]

Most people getting married seem to know what music they want for their ceremony. It was fifty years ago that I met the couple who got married at a nudist colony to the recorded strains of Stravinsky’s "Rite of Spring." At the last actual wedding I attended (my niece’s, in a Catholic cathedral) she wanted Ave Maria and a piano jazz arrangement of "We’ve Only Just Begun." When I once actually prepared a music tape (remember cassettes?) for a wedding, the request was for just simply the Wagner and Mendelssohn wedding marches, both presented here in big churchy organ renditions very suitable for ceremonies, in contrast to the original orchestral/choral versions which are entirely too light-hearted. This is the version of the Wagner piece that we used to sing to as children with the words: "Here comes the bride, all fat and wide..."

Well, things have certainly changed recently. These disks provide an enormous assortment of tunes to use in setting up the ceremony with minute by minute suggestions as the most effective pieces to use for which function. Clearly very elaborate weddings are envisioned. Mothers of brides, more than brides themselves, are likely to salivate over these CDs and the 32 page booklet of suggestions and advice. The lack of artist information on the disk or notes is partly justified by the inclusion of publisher’s information and suggestions as to the ability level required for amateur musicians to perform the music live.

Most of the music on these disks is in the public domain, but the recordings presented here are not. With all due regard for Naxos’ making the music available at low cost, remember that Naxos owns all these tapes.

I can see a lot of people who want a big public ceremony buying this disk and getting all excited about arranging the music. Ah, but you are at once directed to page 24 of the booklet. Beginning with "Nobody wants to break the law...." (This is a big improvement over "FBI WARNING! Interpol and FBI investigate all allegations....) is a description of the procedures which must be complied with in the U.K. before any of this music can be performed in public, live or recorded, even in a church. There is a danger that most people who buy the disk will assume they also bought a licence to play it in public. I would suggest that record dealers make purchasers aware that they can’t do what they most likely want to do, and that is play this CD at their big public wedding ceremony.

Paul Shoemaker

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