Bridal Chorus

Bridal Chorus

The "Bridal Chorus" from the opera "Lohengrin", by German composer Richard Wagner, is the standard march played for the bride's entrance at some 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").

Its usual placement at the beginning of a wedding ceremony is not entirely in accordance with its placement in the opera. In the opera, the chorus is sung after the ceremony by the women of the wedding party, as they accompany the heroine Elsa to the bridal chamber. In addition, the marriage between Elsa and Lohengrin is an almost immediate failure.

The "Bridal Chorus" is seldom played at Jewish weddings which do not feature a processional.There could in any case be religious objections due to Wagner's reputation as an anti-semite.Cite web|url=|title=Marriage|accessyear=2008|accessmonthday=April 6|publisher=The Center for Conversion to Judaism|author=Rabbi Stephen C. Lerner] It is also 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.Cite web|url=|title=Wedding March|accessyear=2007|accessmonthday=November 18|publisher=The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod|author=The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod] The Roman Catholic Church generally does not use the Bridal Chorus; one guideline states that the chorus is a secular piece of music, that is not a processional to the altar in the opera, and especially that its many uses in film and television associate it with sentimentality rather than worship.Cite web|url=|title=Guidelines for Wedding Music|accessyear=2007|accessmonthday=November 18|publisher=Diocese of San Diego|year=2000|author=Diocese of San Diego Office of Liturgy and Spirituality|format=.pdf]


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:

Eight women then sing a blessing to a separate melody. Eventually, the chorus returns with these words, gradually proceeding offstage:



External links

* [ String Quartet Sound Clip of Bridal Chorus in Real Media Format]
* [ Easybyte] - free easy piano arrangement of "Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin" plus midi sound file.
* [ Opernführer] - Synopsis, libretto, and highlights for Wagner operas.
* [ Audio of "Bridal Chorus" performed on a virtual organ]

Audio clips

* [ Performed] by Michael Austin

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