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Courtesy of Musopen

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The "Bridal Chorus" (German: "Treulich geführt"), 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 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]

The "Bridal Chorus" is opposed by many pastors of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod because of pre-First World War Lutheran opposition to the theater and to 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 piece 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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6 news items

 
Virtual-Strategy Magazine (press release)
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 00:07:30 -0700

“We think it is very important for every bride and every groom to know that your processional song does not have to be the Bridal Chorus by Wagner,” Katie says. She is dedicated to encouraging couples to let their personalities shine through their ...
 
A.V. Club Denver/Boulder
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 22:03:45 -0700

It had it all: earworm of a chorus, instrumentation mashup, storytelling lyrics. And what better way to use Wagner's “Bridal Chorus” than in a song about the death of a relationship? “So Fresh, So Clean” had a strutting groove that made it a great fit ...

RumorFix

RumorFix
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:35:35 -0700

Everyone knows “Bridal Chorus” from Wagner's opera Lohengrin is the most popular entrance song for the bride, and usually the groom picks a sweet romantic song for his. But the Carter's decided to be a bit unconventional in this department. Wedding ...
 
YourTango (blog)
Wed, 02 Apr 2014 11:58:47 -0700

You can't totally turn off your ears, though, and that day I distinctly heard the strains of Richard Wagner's "Bridal Chorus" (that's the real name of "Here Comes the Bride") being hummed loudly behind me. I turned in my chair and saw her with one of ...
 
Log Cabin Democrat
Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:52:30 -0700

The songs included the Prelude, “Canon in D,” the Processional, “Bridal Chorus,” and “Wedding March,” for the Recessional. The bride, escorted by her father, wore an ivory embroidered lace fit and flare gown, which featured a strapless sweetheart ...
 
Time Out Hong Kong
Mon, 24 Mar 2014 21:18:45 -0700

But the weirdness works because it keeps the show from dragging during Wagner's more expository passages – and because Lohengrin is going to seem kitschy anyway, containing as it does the famed Bridal Chorus. Like the Mona Lisa, Wagner's wedding ...
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