12 Nov ‘Classical Strings were everything I had hoped for… and more!’
When I first spoke to the Groom about his forthcoming wedding, he had a dream to have his favourite song performed during his wedding ceremony. He didn’t know whether it would be possible to achieve this, as the song was quite a complex Aria by Handel, ‘What Passion Cannot Music Raise and Quell’ from ‘Ode to St Cecilia’s Day’.
When I’m not playing the violin professionally, I also work as a composer and string arranger. This is a highly useful skill when it comes to creating a music performance at a wedding. Often there is little rehearsal time if we are working with a soloist – in this case, the singer was a friend of the Bride, and we met with her an hour before the wedding for a run through! In addition, the music has to be well balanced and arranged so that whatever the music is that I’m arranging, it has to work well when interpreted by strings. The performance has to be convincing whether it is to be performed by Solo Violin, Duo, Trio, or full String Quartet.The Groom originally thought he would book the String Duo, but in order to match the wide ranging orchestral sound of the Handel, he decided in the end to go for the full Quartet.
The wedding took place on a clear autumnal afternoon at St Hilary church, a gorgeous country church surrounded by trees. The church itself is famous for its array of beautiful artwork. We met the singer, and, to my surprise and delight, realised that we had also played for her wedding in the same church ten years ago! After a successful run through of the song, we then got ready to play to the guests as they assembled.
The Bride and Groom had requested a purely Classical feel to their ceremony, in contrast to the film music and love songs which we were to perform later on at the drinks reception. Our cellist gave a magnificent performance of Bach’s Prelude from the Solo Cello Suite in G for the Entry of the Bride. During the Signing of the Register, we performed the beautiful melodic Slow Movement from Bach’s Double Violin Concerto. As the Bride and Groom took to their seats for a pause, the moment came for us to perform the Handel Aria with the Bride’s friend Kate singing the soprano part. Our performance received a rapturous applause, and was a very special moment indeed during the ceremony.
We were delighted to receive this wonderful feedback the next day from George, our Groom:
Just back from a few days away and we’d very much like to thank you for playing so beautifully at our wedding. Please, if you could, extend a special thanks to your cellist for her rendition of the Bach cello suite Prélude – it was superb and got us off to the perfect start in the ceremony.
Equally importantly, we thought the Handel went extremely well too and it’s testament to your extraordinary professionalism that you were able to perform it so impressively with the smallest amount of time with the soloist. We were so pleased we were able to listen to it!
Classical Strings were everything I had hoped for and more!
It is always very special to be able to make someone’s musical dreams become a reality, and create a lasting memory that will stay with the Bridal party for years to come.