Monday Jan. 25, 2021’s Smile of the Day: The Wedding March
On this Day:
In 1858, Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” was played at the wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter Princess Victoria, to the Crown Prince of Prussia.
But this was not the first time the Wedding March had been played at a wedding.
Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” in C major, written in 1842, is one of the best known of the pieces from his suite of incidental music (Op. 61) to Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is one of the most frequently used wedding marches, generally being played on a church pipe organ.
At weddings in many Western countries, this piece is commonly used as a recessional, though frequently stripped of its episodes in this context. It is frequently teamed with the “Bridal Chorus” from Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, or with Jeremiah Clarke’s “Prince of Denmark’s March”, both of which are often played for the entry of the bride.
The first known instance of Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” being used at a wedding was when Dorothy Carew wed Tom Daniel at St Peter’s Church, Tiverton, England, on 2 June 1847 when it was performed by organist Samuel Reay.
However, it did not become popular at weddings until it was selected by Victoria, The Princess Royal for her marriage to Prince Frederick William of Prussia on 25 January 1858. The bride was the daughter of Queen Victoria, who loved Mendelssohn’s music and for whom Mendelssohn often played while on his visits to Britain.
An organ on which Mendelssohn gave recitals of the “Wedding March”, among other works, is housed in St Ann’s Church in Tottenham.
Franz Liszt wrote a virtuoso transcription of the “Wedding March and Dance of the Elves” (S. 410) in 1849–50. Vladimir Horowitz transcribed the “Wedding March” into a virtuoso showpiece for piano and played it as an encore at his concerts (per Wikipedia).
First, a Story:
Did you hear about the two spiders who just got married? I hear they met on the web.
Second, a Song:
Here is Felix Mendelssohn’s Wedding March played by John Hong on the church organ from the Global Mission Nepali Church at 48th Avenue, Woodside NY. Just watching John at the organ is amazing…incredible talent knowing when to use all the keys, stops and pedalboards!
Unfortunately I couldn’t find much information on the organ or indeed, John Hong, so we have to simply enjoy John and his performance. I hope you like it!
Thought for the Day:
“But once you’ve made a song and you put it out there, you don’t own it anymore. The public own it. It’s their song. It might be their song that they wake up to, or their song they have a shower to, or their song that they drive home to or their song they cry to, scream to, have babies to, have weddings to – like, it isn’t your song anymore.” – Ed Sheeran
Further to the Ice Cream Smile, The Rev. Bob Beasley of Grimsby, Ontario, Canada writes:
“During the first wave of the pandemic, Wendy and I were able to watch Ken Burns’ latest mini-series Country Music, an eight episode (2 hours each) on the history of country music. It is another brilliant Ken Burns mini-series documentary. In my estimation there is no better documentary maker these days than Burns. At any rate, lots of info in the series on George Jones.
If anyone is interested, the website for the series is here: https://www.pbs.org/kenburns/country-music/
And for those who have time, there is an excellent NY Times review of the series here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/12/arts/television/ken-burns-country-music.html#:~:text=Critic’s%20Notebook-,Ken%20Burns’s%20’Country%20Music’%20Traces%20the%20Genre’s%20Victories%2C%20and,story%2C%20from%20Appalachia%20to%20arenas.&text=Tell%20a%20lie%20long%20enough,it%20becomes%20part%20of%20history.
Have a great day!
Dave & Colleen
© 2021 David J. Bilinsky and Colleen E. Bilinsky