wedding ceremony music

Glasgow Love Theme-Love Actually

“Love Actually” is one of the last great romantic comedies of our time, Many factors went into the success of “Love Actually.” The extraordinary international, mostly British, cast, the interweaving plot lines, and of course the delicate, sentimental, lush romantic score by British composer Curtis Armstrong.
One of the most memorable parts of the score is called “Glasgow Love Theme.”
There are other decidedly unromantically titled tunes such as “Portugese Love Theme” and “Prime Minister’s Love Theme”.  However, each melody is more lush and romantic as the one before.”Glasgow Love Theme ” is featured in this rather poorly edited montage. But it’s really one of the more touching plot lines in the movie, in which Andrew Lincoln’s (“Walking Dead”)  character serves as the best man for his friend, Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years A Slave”) who is  marrying the love of his life, played by a spectacularly gorgeous (20-year-old)  Keira Knightley.

It’s not as depressing as it sounds, basically because Andrew Lincoln acts the shit out of the scene. It’s a distinctly, lovely tear jerker.

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Standing on its own, “Glasgow Love Theme” is a simple, elegant melody, perfect for use as a Wedding Processional. I have to give thanks to Allison and Kyle who requested I play it for their wedding processional on May 21, 2016.
I was going to add this to my list of Processionals on my Wedding Wisdom Blog, on my own, but they beat me to it.

Leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Let’s Stay Together-Maroon 5

True R ‘n B devotees might have me kicked out of the “Hipness Club” for daring to play Adam Levine’s delicate version of Al Green’s 1971 “Soul” classic “Let’s Stay Together.”  Green’s original is spectacular, and well-loved, having been viewed over 72 million times on YouTube. However, for a wedding procession, a song has to be stripped down and be able to be played delicately by two musicians, while still honoring the Al Green original. Adam Levine is one of the few male vocalists with the vocal “chops’ to pull off this song without losing any of the soulful simplicity of the original.

My bride for this weekend….well, not my bride….but you get the idea, Alexandra,  and I spent countless hours on the phone and sent each other dozens of emails laughing about which 90s dance hit would/could sound appropriate for a Wedding Processional without sounding goofy.

As a pianist and arranger, I assured her that I could make any song sound melodic enough for a procession.  I’m pretty sure we spent the most time laughing, yet seriously considering TLCs “No Scrubs” the longest.  She finally landed on Levine’s arrangement for the simplicity of the instrumentation, while retaining Al Green’s iconic melody. We both think it’s a great choice. Personally, I’ll always maintain that choosing any song that actually “means” something to you as the bride or the groom, you can never go wrong.

Leave me a comment to let me know how you feel.

Air On The G String-J.S. Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach’s 1722 masterwork, most often referred to as “Air On The G String,” is a spectacular choice for your wedding processional. The full title is actually “Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major (Second Movement.) BWV 1068.”

Paired with Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D,” “Air On The G String” flows seamlessly  from the Full Procession to the separate Bridal Procession. Both works, written three hundred years ago have uniquely recognizable melodic themes, making them accessible to even the most casual “Classical Music” fan. As opposed to instrumental arrangements of contemporary tunes, the one-two punch of Bach and Pachelbel serve as a timeless accompaniment to both the simplest and most elegant of wedding processionals.

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Let me know what you think.
-Doug

Trumpet Voluntary-Jeremiah Clarke

Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke (1674-1707) is probably the perfect recessional song for your wedding. I used this version because French trumpeter Maurice Andre (1933-2012) was one of the finest trumpeters of the 20th century.

Fun Fact: The horn he is playing in this clip, is called a piccolo trumpet, because of the smaller size, as well as its ability to play in extremely high registers, not reachable on a traditional trumpet.

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Clarke wrote during the same period as more celebrated Baroque masters Bach, Vivaldi and Handel. This piece is one of the most recognizable 3:35 minute pieces in the history of “Classical Music.” Music of the Baroque period adds a uniquely stately, regal air to any occasion. Trumpet Voluntary is the perfect soundtrack to celebrate your wedding vows

Let me know what you think.

Water Music, Suite #2, Alla Hornpipe-George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach composed some of the most beloved music of all time. Ironically, both were born and raised in Germany in the same year, 1685. Bach lived until 1750, Handel until 1759. The inspiring and elegant work of these two men literally has come to represent the very definition of the term “Baroque Music.”
Handel is most often remembered for composing The Messiah, with its famous “Hallelujah Chorus.”  (Bach is remembered for composing just about everything else). But, in addition,
Handel’s “Water Music” remains one of his most enduring compositions. What you are listening to is his “Suite in D Major,” often referred to as “Suite No. 2.”  (There are three entire suites that comprise the complete “Water Music.” )  To make it a little more confusing, each suite is made up of several parts. “Alla Hornpipe” is the name given to the 2nd movement of the 2nd suite.

George Frideric Handel

The piece is known for its regal nobility and triumphant trumpets. It runs deep and powerfully. And it translates so beautifully into other instruments,  as it sounds just as spectacular with a string quartet if you are using traditional “Classical” Music. It’s definitely a bold choice for your recession. But if you can “own” that sense of elegant monarchy and power for just a few minutes, it’s an exquisite solution.

Please leave a comment to let me know what you think.

 

 

Brighter Than Sunshine-Aqualung

I first heard the song “Brighter Than Sunshine” in the 2005 movie “A Lot Like Love” starring Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. It’s a fairly formulaic romantic comedy, but the song adds so much to the mood and feel to the movie, that the song lives once you forget about the movie. The lyrics to the song are beautiful, and perfect for a First Dance.

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
Brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don’t care
I’m yours and suddenly you’re mine
Suddenly you’re mine
And it’s brighter than sunshine

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The song was written and performed by British singer/songwriter Matt Hales who recorded under the name “Aqualung.” As you’ll discover, many of my suggestions for processionals, recessionals and first dances are found on movie soundtracks.

Let me know what you think.
-Doug

Cider House Rules-Rachel Portman

Some of the most beautiful, evocative instrumental music, perfect for processionals, are written for Hollywood soundtracks. One the finest composers for film is Rachel Portman, who was the first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Original Score for the movie “Cider House Rules” in 2000. The movie also won for six other Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director (Lasse Hallstrom), Best Supporting Actor (Michael Caine) and Best Adapted Screenplay (John Irving)

Rachel Portman

“Cider House Rules” is one of my all time favorite films, with Portman’s soundtrack reaching the pantheon of some of the greatest composers for film, like Ennio Morricone, John Williams and the late James Horner who tragically died in a plane crash in June, 2015. Horner won an Academy Award for Titanic in 1997, which also became the largest selling soundtrack of all time, selling over 30 million units.

Many of the pieces that I will be reccomending in the Ceremony section in the blog will be coming from film soundtracks. Rachel Portman’s sensational score for “Cider House Rules” is as beautiful as the movie itself. In the next few blog entries I’ll be trying to introduce some of the most beautiful, sentimental, romantic scores to accompany the Bride and Bridal Party down the aisle. Definitely give this one a listen.

Let me know what you think.
-Doug

Erev Shel Shoshanim

Erev Shel Shoshanim is the perfect song for a Jewish Bridal Procession. This is the Wikipedia definition for the Hebrew title: “Erev Shel Shoshanim  English: Evening of Lilies or “Evening of Roses.” The Hebrew word shoshana has been identified with both flower. It is a poetic Hebrew love song. Its melody is often used as wedding music in Jewish weddings, as a replacement for Here Comes the Bride.”

The melody is simple, clear and beautiful and works equally well as an instrumental or vocal. It also works very well when paired with Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D.

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Mazel Tov.
-Doug

Cissy Strut-The Meters

The Meters are a band introduced to me by one of my favorite clients who had gone to Tulane, deeply entrenched in the New Orleans Sound. “Cissy Strut” has a truly infectiously funky groove indigenous to that great historical city.

Even as an instrumental with no lyrics it stands alone as a simple. happy, funky groove. Perfect as a fun choice for a Recessional to allow your guests to dance into the cocktail hour.

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The possibilities of processional and recessional songs are endless, if you consider 400 years of “Classical Music” as well as contemporary songs that have particular meaning to you as a couple.

Let me know what you think.
-Doug