I need a really dramatic, beautiful instrumental song, possibly with a big crescendo.
September 22, 2006 7:10 AM   Subscribe

I need a really dramatic, beautiful instrumental song, possibly with a big crescendo.

A friend of mine is getting married, and as her most recently married friend I have been recruited in helping with the planning. She wants a big dramatic instrumental song to walk down the aisle to, and it is my job to find it. Unfortunately, I have no musical anything about me. I get my fine arts through painting and books :) Sure, I can tell when something is pretty, but I don't have the attention span to sit around listening to classical music--I'm perfectly happy with my pop music, thanks.

I don't even know where to start, and she has pretty particular tastes. She said she wants something so beautiful you can't get it out of your head, and she doesn't want a traditional wedding song. She really likes "Into the West" from the Lord of the Rings, but she doesn't want to have LOTR involved in her wedding, due to the teasing she would get from her fiance (and probably me :)

Can you help?
posted by saucy to Media & Arts (29 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
A lot of people like The Lark Ascending

Although it might help if you mentioned how long the piece should be, if you intend to play a recording or have a chamber ensemble or singer, and any other details.

Another possibility: Tchaikovsky's ballet "Romeo and Juliet".
posted by amtho at 7:21 AM on September 22, 2006


I went to a wedding in 2001 with a bunch of big swelling rock music songs in its down the aisle moment, including Sigor Ros and Boards of Canada (before everyone had heard of those bands.) Sounds cheesy but it really worked, as it was the type of crowd that was easily bored by classical music.
posted by DenOfSizer at 7:27 AM on September 22, 2006


For our wedding, we used "Simple Gifts". We used a recording from the musical "Blast". It's about a minute or so into the song (I think) and it starts really quiet (this is where he said "I introduce Mr & Mrs SheIsMighty") and just as we turned and started our walk out, the music picked up and it was just perfect. I remember crying because I was so happy the music worked out like I wanted it to. I highly recommend listening to that whole song to see what I mean. There's also an even more dramatic part right after the part we used.
posted by SheIsMighty at 7:28 AM on September 22, 2006


All sorts of excerpts from Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, particularly if you'd like a Spanish flavour.
posted by Neiltupper at 7:35 AM on September 22, 2006


I would highly recommend Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major: I. Prelude. I chose this at our wedding; not for when my wife walked down the aisle but when we were introduced the reception. The effect was tremendous. I hadn't considered using this for walking the aisle, but it could work very well upon review.

I can provide a copy if you need to listen. FYI the version I used was peformed by Yo-Yo Ma from his "Cello Suites: Inspired By Bach" album.
posted by sprocket87 at 7:37 AM on September 22, 2006


My wife chose Handel's Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, and it worked really well, I think.
posted by agropyron at 7:43 AM on September 22, 2006


We used "The Unfolding" by Dead Can Dance; the major crescendo is just about in the middle. It's a really gorgeous piece.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:52 AM on September 22, 2006


Will it be performed by live musicians? If so, talk to them.
posted by free pie at 8:32 AM on September 22, 2006


If you are thinking of recorded music, Nimrod from Elgar's Enigma Variations comes to mind. I am not familiar with LOTR.
posted by free pie at 8:36 AM on September 22, 2006


The introduction to Handel's "Zadok the Priest" from the Coronation Anthems of King George always gives me the kind of feeling that I imagine you are trying to evoke. Once the vocals come in, it's even better.

I really like big choral pieces, but not everyone does.
posted by nekton at 8:52 AM on September 22, 2006


We walked down the aisle to Mussorsgky's Pictures at an Exhibition. It's beautiful (and as a bonus, we're both artists so the context was perfect).
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 8:56 AM on September 22, 2006


Rach 2.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:12 AM on September 22, 2006


There is a piece by Ariane Lydon called "Fireflies," off the CD entitled The Open Harp that she plays simultaneously on guitar and harp. I have loved it since I heard it. The crescendo is subtle, but it feels to me like the intensity is building through the song.

It's simple, and it creates a strong feeling of nostalgia for me. You can listen to a snippet here to determine if it's anywhere close to your style.
posted by dorothy humbird at 9:26 AM on September 22, 2006


I recommend Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (check out variation XVIII).
posted by ludwig_van at 9:40 AM on September 22, 2006


Don't know what its called but the main theme music in the film the Hudsucker Proxy tends to tug at my heart strings. Big crescendo, etc.
posted by jrb223 at 10:00 AM on September 22, 2006


The Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia by Khachaturian is possibly one of the sexiest pieces of music ever written. It might work, but it could be a little to pensive for your needs. Give it a listen though -- it's beautiful, and yes - it has one huge crescendo at its climax.
posted by icosahedral at 10:03 AM on September 22, 2006


Another good Dead Can Dance option would be "Cantara."
posted by Skot at 10:44 AM on September 22, 2006


Not too sure about Nimrod -- reminds me too much of the warfallen -- only takes a few bars for me to well up.

How about Sigur Ros, (), Track 3? That'll get the women balling.
posted by popcassady at 10:57 AM on September 22, 2006


Greig's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" (mp3)
posted by grumblebee at 11:19 AM on September 22, 2006


Ravel's "Bolero" would be fun, too, but you'd have to start it way before the bride's entrance and get the timing just right.
posted by grumblebee at 11:20 AM on September 22, 2006


I can't recall specific tracks, but off Sufjan Steven's cd Illinoise, there are some incredibly beautiful songs, both with and without lyrics. absolutely beautiful, i would definately recommend it.
posted by alon at 11:26 AM on September 22, 2006


Heh. Banjo and I used a string quartet cover of a Nirvana song (All Apologies) for our walk. In lieu of a crescendo, we had people slowly realizing what song we were playing and then slowly getting the joke from the song's chorus.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:53 AM on September 22, 2006


We used Sigur Ros' "Glosoli", from their latest album "Takk". It worked out really well. It was also a personal song for us, though, so YMMV.
posted by sauril at 12:28 PM on September 22, 2006


I can't recall specific tracks, but off Sufjan Steven's cd Illinoise, there are some incredibly beautiful songs, both with and without lyrics.

Yeah, you should totally use John Wayne Gacy, Jr.!

(Note: Actually you shouldn't, nor should you use anything else from that album, good though it may be.)
posted by ludwig_van at 12:44 PM on September 22, 2006


wow, i was going to say "glosoli" as well. the first time i heard that song i almost drove off the road when the end part hit.
posted by joeblough at 2:28 PM on September 22, 2006


Wagner's "Prelude and Liebestod" from Tristan und Isolde is highly dramatic and lovely, IMHO. Some portion of that could work for her.
posted by seancake at 4:24 PM on September 22, 2006


Classical Gas. Performed Live.
posted by hoborg at 4:49 PM on September 22, 2006


"A Saucerful of Secrets" by Pink Floyd. Use the version off the Ummagumma live disc. Start it about 7 minutes, 13 seconds into the song. This is the part of the song called "Celestial Voices," and it may be labeled as such on your CD. Total running time is about 5 minutes, 30 seconds.

Dramatic, beautiful, and sweeping, all at the same time. I've considered getting married just so I can have this piece of music played at my wedding.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:43 AM on September 23, 2006


Dramatic, so beautiful that you can't get it out of your head, but instrumental. 2 out of 3, she may want to consider arias. Generally always dramatic, moving, and with a melody that will stick in one's head easily. Many deal with love.

Everything I can think of is about tragic love, but one thing I can think of is Rusalka's "Song to the Moon," by Dvorak, listen allt eh way to the end (I prefer the Renee Fleming version, she records well, even though I'm not a real fan of hers otherwise). There's also of course the Lakme Flower duet, Puccini and Verdi overtures.

Instrumental I'd suggest Elgar's cello concerto performed by Jacqueline DuPre. Incredibly moving.
posted by scazza at 9:58 AM on September 25, 2006


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