Classical Music Glossary, Part Four
August 27, 2012
Pachelbel’s Canon
August 30, 2012
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The Bridal Chorus

Welcome back to Austin wedding music / San Antonio wedding music 101!

Even though most people aren’t certain what to call it, everyone knows what the “Bridal Chorus” sounds like. From the 1850 opera Lohengrin by German composer Richard Wagner, it’s a march played for the bride’s entrance at many formal weddings. In English-speaking countries it is generally known as “Here Comes the Bride” or “Wedding March.”

Its usual placement at the beginning of a wedding ceremony is not entirely in accordance with its placement in the opera. In the opera, the chorus is sung after the ceremony by the women of the wedding party, as they accompany the heroine Elsa to the bridal chamber. In addition, the marriage between Elsa and Lohengrin is an almost immediate failure. While the song is traditionally associated with positive emotions, within the context of the play it occurs before several guests are murdered.

The “Bridal Chorus” is seldom played at Jewish weddings. This is often because of cultural objections, due to Wagner’s well-documented and public reputation as an anti-Semite. It is also opposed by many pastors of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod because of pre-First World War Lutheran opposition to the theater and pagan elements of Wagner’s operas. The Roman Catholic Church generally does not use the “Bridal Chorus” either, as it is regarded as a secular piece of music that is not a processional to the altar in the opera, and especially that its frequent use in film and television associate it with sentimentality rather than worship.

If you’re planning an office event, chamber concert, wedding ceremony or special event that calls for professional Austin wedding ceremony musicians or San Antonio wedding ceremony musicians, please contact us so we can help. Our performances can range to include the trumpet, violin, cello, string quartet, and so much more! From traditional wedding music to contemporary choices, we provide the perfect setting for that special event.

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