Wedding String Quartet Pachelbel Canon in D
By vaughan • 10th June 2009 • Posted in: Videos and Media
No matter how large the size of a wedding string quartet‘s repertoire, or how many other music choices there are on offer – it’s probably true to say that 99% of brides who hire a string quartet choose to walk up the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D for string quartet or even the smaller combination of string duo.
Here’s a video of the Manor House String Quartet playing Pachelbel’s Canon – filmed in the Church of St Giles, Cheddington, Buckinghamshire:
This week, we have recorded and added a full length version of Canon in D to the jukebox of string quartet samples on our playlist page so that couples can hear the whole piece in its entirety.
It was an interesting experience when it came to record the piece – as we play it at least twice a week over the summer wedding season, yet rarely reach the end of it. Because the bride has usually arrived at the registrar or minister by the time we’ve got about a quarter of the way through, we normally fade the piece out and end it early – so that the bride doesn’t have to stand there for another two minutes feeling self conscious whilst we finish the piece. Playing it through in the recording studio, all the way to the end – made us realise what a beautiful piece of music it really is, with some really clever harmonies and counter melodies.
So who was this Pachelbel?
Johann Pachelbel was a German baroque composer who wrote extensively for organ, choir and other ensembles – yet his Canon in D is the piece that he’s most commonly remembered for now. Actually, the Canon was originally part of a pair of pieces and went with a ‘Gigue’ which is rarely performed nowadays. Despite being written in the baroque period, the score was only re-discovered in the 1920’s and has become increasingly popular over the last 30 years as it’s featured on so many classical compilation discs and is firmly established on the playlist of Classic FM.
Pachelbel’s Canon in D has a very distinctive chord progression and simple base line with the violins providing the melodies on top. It’s an even more frequently requested piece of wedding music than the Bridal Chorus by Wagner (Here Comes the Bride) or the Wedding March by Mendelssohn and we’ve occasionally had enquiries from couples who don’t really want to book a string quartet for their whole wedding but ask whether we could play that one piece for the entrance of the bride and then leave.
Unfortunately scheduling in even 5 minutes of playing for a wedding in the middle of the day would mean we’d have to turn down everyone else as the timings would probably clash, so arriving at a wedding to play one piece isn’t really viable.
Nevertheless it just goes to show what an established part of a wedding ceremony Pachelbel’s Canon has become – and when it’s played really nicely, it’s easy to see why it’s so well loved.
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