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J.R. Headrick
J.R. Headrick
409-284-8541

jrheadrick@texasmusicmasters.com

Best Prelude Songs

Ave Maria

Two popular versions of the traditional song "Ave Maria" exist. One was composed by Charles Gounod in 1859 and is based on the harmony and texture of J.S. Bach's Prelude No.1 in C Major. It is a setting of the standard Latin Ave Maria text. Another version, written by Franz Schubert in 1825, was originally titled "Ellens ditter Gesang" (D. 839) but is more commonly referred to today as Schubert's "Ave Maria." Schubert's version was eventually adapted to fit the Roman Catholic prayer Ave Maria as well. Both versions are very beautiful and are standards during weddings and at Christmas.

Find a vocal version of Schubert's song:  Sarah Brightman - Classics - Ave MariaAmazon CDAmazon mp3sSheetmusicplus
Find an instrumental version of Schubert's song:  A Brides Guide To Wedding Music - A Bride's Guide to Wedding Music - Schubert: Ave MariaAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsody

Find a vocal version of Gounod's song:  Jewel - Joy: A Holiday Collection - Ave MariaAmazon CDAmazon mp3sSheetmusicplus
Find an instrumental version of Gounod's song:  Barrymoore Chamber Orchestra - Bride's Guide to Classical Wedding Music - Ave MariaAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsody


Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" is the title of a transcription by the English pianist Myra Hess of the chorale that ends each part of the cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147. The piece is also a favorite for funerals, but more commonly used during weddings as either a piece for a choir or as an instrumental. This song is good for either the prelude or the processional.

Find an instrumental version on:  A Brides Guide To Wedding Music - A Bride's Guide to Wedding Music - Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man's DesiringAmazon CDAmazon mp3sSheetmusicplus
Find a vocal version on:  Josh Groban - Josh Groban - Jesu, Joy of Man's DesiringAmazon CDAmazon mp3s


The Four Seasons

Every guest has heard this lovely but traditional song by Vivaldi. It is a splendid group of four violin concertos. Antonio Vivaldi wrote them in 1725 as part of a set of twelve. They represent the four seasons and vary greatly in style to fit the seasons. This is an excellent traditional choice for prelude songs. It is an instrumental music piece that needs no words. It is divided into four pieces: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. "Allegro" from Spring and "Largo" from Winter are the two most popular pieces used during the prelude.

Find it on:  Antonio Vivaldi, Gerard SchwarzAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus


A few other songs you might consider for the prelude are:

  1. "Adagio Cantabile" (Piano Sonata No. 8) by Ludwig Van Beethoven
     Find it on:  Jenö Jandó - Adagio - Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 8 In C Minor, Op. 13 'Pathetique': Adagio CantabileAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  2. "Air" from Water Music by Georg Friedrich Handel
    Traditional, classical piece that can be used for the prelude or the bridal party's processional
     Find it on:  A Brides Guide To Wedding Music - A Bride's Guide to Wedding Music - Handel: Water Music, AirAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  3. "Air On The G String" from Orchestral Suite No.3 by Johann Sebastian Bach
     Find it on:  National Philharmonic Baroque Ensemble - Favorite's from the Classics, Vol. 2: Bach's Greatest Hits - Air On The G StringAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  4. "Always" performed by Atlantic Starr
     Find it on:  Atlantic Starr - Rhino Hi-Five: Wedding Songs 1 - EP - AlwaysAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  5. "Arioso" by Johann Sebastian Bach
     Find it on:  The Complete Wedding Music Resource - Traditional - The Complete Wedding Music Resource - Traditional - AriosoAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  6. Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049, "Allegro" by Johann Sebastian Bach
    Find it on:  Cologne Chamber Orchestra & Helmut Müller-Brühl - The Very Best of Bach - Brandenburg Concerto No. 4: AllegroAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  7. "Canon in D" by Johann Pachelbel
    One of the most played pieces, it can work almost anywhere but most commonly during the prelude and processional.
     Find it on:  Barrymoore Chamber Orchestra - Bride's Guide to Classical Wedding Music - Pachelbel's Canon in DAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  8. Fifth Symphony by Ludwig Van Beethoven
    Find it on:  Nicolaus Esterhazy Sinfonia/Bela Drahos - Life And Works: Ludwig Van Beethoven - Fifth Symphony, First Movement (Complete)Amazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  9. "Forever in Love" performed by Kenny G
     Find it on:  Kenny G - Kenny G: Greatest Hits - Forever in LoveAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  10. "Greensleeves"
     Find it on:  Various Artists - The Most Relaxing Classical Music in the Universe - GreensleevesAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  11. "If" by Bread
     Find it on:  Bread - Best of Bread - IfAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  12. "Largo" from Xerxes by Georg Friedrich Handel
    Another elegant piece that is good for the prelude or the processional.
     Find it on:  The O'Neill Brothers - A Day To Remember Vol. II: Instrumental Wedding Music - Prelude - Largo (Handel)Amazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  13. "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven
     Find it on:  Ludwig van Beethoven - Classics for the Heart - Moonlight SonataAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  14. Nocturne in E Flat, Op.9 No. 2, by Frederic Chopin
    Find it on:  AM Orchestra - Classical Piano Vol. 1: Timeless Classical Masterpieces - Nocturne In E FlatAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  15. "Prelude in C Major" by Johann Sebastian Bach
     Find it on:  Edward Wood, pianist - Bach / The Well Tempered Clavier, Volume 2, 3-DISC COLLECTION - Prelude in C MajorAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  16. Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun), L. 86, by Claude Debussy
    Find it on:  Orchestre National de Lyon - The Most Relaxing Classical Music in the Universe - Prelude to the Afternoon of a FaunAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  17. "Sheep May Safely Graze" ("Was mir behagt"), Cantata No. 208, by Johann Sebastian Bach
     Find it on:  Lumiere String Quartet - Classical Wedding Music - Sheep May Safely GrazeAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
  18. Sleeping Beauty Waltz, OP. 66a, composed by Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky
    If you've seen Disney's version of Sleeping Beauty, you'll recognize this melody, but it was originally written as a ballet.
     Find it on:  CSR Symphony Orchestra & Ondrej Lenard - Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker; Swan Lake; Sleeping Beauty (Highlights) - Sleeping Beauty: WaltzAmazon CDAmazon mp3s
  19. "Then He Kissed Me" by the Crystals
     Find it on:  The Crystals - Rock Masters: Da Do Ron Ron - Then He Kissed MeAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsody
  20. "Through the Eyes of Love" by the Melissa Manchester
    Theme From Ice Castles
     Find it on:  Melissa Manchester - Platinum & Gold Collection: Melissa Manchester - Through the Eyes of Love (Theme from "Ice Castles")Amazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
     Instrumental Version:  Mike Strickland - All-Time Piano Favorites - Through the Eyes of LoveAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsody
  21. "Unchained Melody" performed by Righteous Brothers
     Find it on:  Righteous Brothers - The Very Best of the Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody - Unchained MelodyAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsodySheetmusicplus
     Instrumental Version:  Piano Love Songs - Piano Love Songs - Unchained MelodyAmazon CDAmazon mp3sRhapsody

Best Prelude Songs

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