Last year, I played at something like seven weddings of friends. I won’t be matching the friend total this year, but I may have as many weddings on the playing docket. There have been three so far, and I have another three in the queue, not counting a 25th anniversary celebration later this month.
I’ve been detecting a fatigue among some engaged couples for the “traditional” wedding instrumental fare as of late. Canon in D has survived past its GE/MTM life in the last generation. But I detect a downward slope for it. But that could just be my own fatigue.
Some of my favorite wedding processionals, seem to align with some of my favorite weddings. There’s likely a connection.
In 1987, I arranged “Jesu Joy” for guitar, flute, and clarinet for a wedding of very close friends. (One of whom occasionally comments here.)
Around the same era, another couple marrying at the parish’s Thursday Night Mass, requested the Litany of Saints. It was a contemporary choral arrangement (not Becker) and while choir members were initially skeptical, the post-liturgical assessment was largely thumbs up.
A few years ago, another bride requested Ave Maria–not one of the chestnuts. Another couple wanted “Be Thou My Vision.” It’s rare to have a sung processional. At my own wedding, it was just the entrance song for Mass. Nothing special; not even a deviation from the weekend’s music menu. But I don’t hesitate to recommend an art song if I think the idea will get traction. We do recommend a song for the congregation after the procession stuff is done. (I suppose the CMAA folk would urge a proper. As long as the assembly gets the antiphon or verses, I would endorse that choice, too.)
Getting back to instrumental music, I’ve been listening to a lot of the lute music composed by Silvius Leopold Weiss. Weiss has now surpassed John Dowland as my favorite composer for the lute. He’s also my favorite Baroque Era composer now. His music is amazingly and endlessly inventive and no two sonatas seem at all alike. I’m thinking I could find some scores and adapt for my guitar or even piano. The melodies are just delightful.