One of the most popular wedding entrance songs has got to be Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by JS Bach. If you’re in the process of selecting wedding ceremony music, consider the rich possibilities of Bach’s Masterpiece.
Bach composed the piece between 1716 and 1723 as part of a larger piece. Interestingly, he conceived the composition as being driven by trumpet, oboes, and strings. But modern weddings have slowed the melody down and showcased the ethereal melody using a wide variety of instruments.
Here’s the solo piano version you know and love
One of its most common manifestations is solo piano, as performed here by Israeli classical pianist, Alon Goldstein:
Simply beautiful. Note the clarity and expressiveness of Mr. Goldstein’s performance.
Listen to this arrangement with classical guitar and cello
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring also lends itself to classical guitar. Here’s a beautiful presentation by a group called Duo Rosanna featuring cello and classical guitar:
The text upon which the hymn was based was written by German poet, Martin Janus, in 1661. It expresses his close relationship with Christ, singing his praise for the source of his joy, Jesus. That is why the composition was originally performed at a lively tempo.
The Celtic Women know how to perform Bach!
If your religious tradition appreciates the text, here is a beautiful presentation sung by the Celtic Women (in English!):
As mentioned earlier, Mr. Bach really wanted a trumpet for this piece. Check out this regal performance by The Gateway Brass Quintet, complete with not one, but two trumpets, trombone, horn, and tuba!
Trumpet player, Timothy Moke, speeds up the tempo to Bach levels and adds an organ, which I believe even makes the piece sound more regal than the previous version, if that’s possible! Take a listen:
And if you would like to experience the ultimate heavenly sound when you walk down the aisle, consider Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring performed by full orchestra. This is extraordinary:
What’s your style? Do you like a small, intimate sound, or a magnificent full sound? There’s no right or wrong answer, because your wedding day is all about you.
Midnight Music offers ceremony music
If you don’t have access to polished, professional musicians for your ceremony, or if your budget won’t accommodate a full orchestra, Midnight Music can help. We’re more than the dance-floor packing wedding DJs you’ve heard about for years. We can provide you with your favorite music for your wedding ceremony.
Our sound is clear and controlled, perfect for either indoor or outdoor ceremonies.
Whether you want us to play Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring or something else, you’ll enjoy customized, memorable ceremony music that elevates your wedding. Be sure to check out a previous blogpost, “Top classical songs for walking down the aisle,” for even more great ideas.