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Courtesy of Musopen

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The "Bridal Chorus" ("Treulich geführt" in German), from the 1850 opera Lohengrin, by German composer Richard Wagner, is a march played for the bride's entrance at many formal weddings throughout the Western world. In English-speaking countries it is generally known as "Here Comes the Bride" or "Wedding March," though, actually, "wedding march" refers to any piece in march tempo accompanying the entrance or exit of the bride, notably Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March."

Context within the opera[edit]

Some people[who?] say that the use of the march at the beginning of a wedding ceremony is not highly appropriate, given its place in the structure of the opera. The chorus is sung in Lohengrin by the women of the wedding party after the ceremony, as they accompany the heroine Elsa to the bridal chamber. Furthermore, the marriage between Elsa and Lohengrin is an almost immediate failure. However, given the fact that the "Bridal Chorus" portrays no malice, nor anything else negative, and the fact that it has no impact on what actually happens in the rest of the opera, its placement in the opera is irrelevant to whether or not it should be used in a wedding ceremony, hence that position does not seem to have any sound support.

Religious attitudes[edit]

Many pastors of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod oppose the "Bridal Chorus" because of both pre-First World War Lutheran opposition to the theater and the pagan elements of Wagner's operas.[1] The Roman Catholic Church generally does not use the "Bridal Chorus;" one diocese's guidelines regarding the chorus states that the chorus is a secular piece of music, that it 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.[2]

Text[edit]

Although at most weddings the chorus is usually played without vocal singing (usually on an organ, if there is any), in Lohengrin the wedding party sings these words at the beginning of Act Three:

Treulich geführt ziehet dahin,
wo euch der Segen der Liebe bewahr'!
Siegreicher Mut, Minnegewinn
eint euch in Treue zum seligsten Paar.
Streiter der Tugend, schreite voran!
Zierde der Jugend, schreite voran!
Rauschen des Festes seid nun entronnen,
Wonne des Herzens sei euch gewonnen!
Duftender Raum, zur Liebe geschmückt,
nehm' euch nun auf, dem Glanze entrückt.
Treulich geführt ziehet nun ein,
wo euch der Segen der Liebe bewahr'!
Siegreicher Mut, Minne so rein
eint euch in Treue zum seligsten Paar.
Faithfully guided, draw near
to where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, the reward of love,
joins you in faith as the happiest of couples!
Champion of virtue, proceed!
Jewel of youth, proceed!
Flee now the splendour of the wedding feast,
may the delights of the heart be yours!
This sweet-smelling room, decked for love,
now takes you in, away from the splendour.
Faithfully guided, draw now near
to where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, love so pure,
joins you in faith as the happiest of couples!

Eight women then sing a blessing to a separate melody.

Wie Gott euch selig weihte, zu Freude weihn euch wir.
In Liebesglücks Geleite denkt lang’ der Stunde hier!

Eventually, the chorus returns with these words, gradually proceeding offstage:

Treulich bewacht bleibet zurück,
wo euch der Segen der Liebe bewahr'!
Siegreicher Mut, Minne und Glück
eint euch in Treue zum seligsten Paar.
Streiter der Tugend, bleibe daheim!
Zierde der Jugend, bleibe daheim!
Rauschen des Festes seid nun entronnen,
Wonne des Herzens sei euch gewonnen!
Duftender Raum, zur Liebe geschmückt,
nahm euch nun auf, dem Glanze entrückt.
Treulich bewacht bleibet zurück,
wo euch der Segen der Liebe bewahr'!
Siegreicher Mut, Minne und Glück
eint euch in Treue zum seligsten Paar.
Faithfully guarded, remain behind
where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, love and happiness
join you in faith as the happiest of couples.
Champion of virtue, remain here!
Jewel of youth, remain here!
Flee now the splendours of the wedding feast,
may the delights of the heart be yours!
This sweet-smelling room, decked for love,
has now taken you, away from the splendour.
Faithfully guarded, remain behind
where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, love and happiness
join you in faith as the happiest of couples.

Media[edit]


Problems playing this file? See media help.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. "Wedding March". The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Retrieved November 18, 2007. 
  2. ^ Diocese of San Diego Office of Liturgy and Spirituality (2000). "Guidelines for Wedding Music" (.pdf). Diocese of San Diego. Retrieved November 18, 2007. 

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridal_Chorus — Please support Wikipedia.
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16 news items

 
Music Times
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 13:26:15 -0700

... problem from Hitler's use of the movement in Nazi propaganda, and Americans also pointed back to Birth as "proof" of Wagner being an inherent jerk. Everyone forgets that the famous "Bridal Chorus" used at nearly every wedding was also by the composer.
 
Bay Net
Mon, 07 Jul 2014 13:48:45 -0700

... Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves R. Wagner: Bridal Chorus (Lohengren) G. Verdi: Overture to Macbeth; Witches' Chorus (Macbeth) G. Puccini: Un Bel di - Madame Butterfly (Soprano Aria); Humming Chorus (Madame Butterfly) G. Verdi: Overture to La Traviata; ...

New York Times

New York Times
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 13:56:46 -0700

He held to this bifurcated idea in his solo, on flugelhorn; Mr. Evans took more license in what became an ingenious rampage, complete with flyby interpolation of Wagner's bridal chorus. Later, Mr. Evans set off an impromptu gospel rave-up in the middle ...
 
Fond du Lac Reporter
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 14:00:00 -0700

The band will also perform the Bridal Chorus and Introduction to Act III from Wagner's "Lohengrin" and the familiar Wedding March from Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer's Night Dream." Nickole Kawleski will be featured on soprano saxophone playing Shades of ...
 
Daily Journal Online
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 05:56:15 -0700

The bride entered to the “Bridal Chorus.” The unity candle was lit to “All I ask of You.” Vocalist, Ashley Tull, of Wichita, Kan., cousin of the bride, sang beautifully, “I Will See You Again” in tribute to the late grandparents. Kendal Jones, brother ...
 
News-Reporter
Wed, 09 Jul 2014 07:38:19 -0700

The bridal party entered to I Won't Give Up On Us by Jason Miraz and The Bridal Chorus was used for the bride's entrance. Trae Stockwell of Washington was best man. Groomsmen were Andy Ellis, brother of the bride, Brandon McMurray, Connor Daniel, ...
 
Sydney Morning Herald
Sat, 05 Jul 2014 23:11:15 -0700

A violin played the Bridal Chorus and four page-boy-high neon letters – L O V E – lit up the night as guests arrived at Rippon Lea in Elsternwick on Monday for the opening of the National Trust exhibition, Love, Desire and Riches: The Fashion of Weddings.
 
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