The Wedding Suite
In 2006, I had the honor of composing for the wedding ceremony of my friends Nicholas & Jamie. The couple knew they wanted a piano string quintet. Nicholas, in particular, was hoping for something original, but with a bit of pomp and swagger around the edges — maybe with hints of Mozart & Haydn. Those were my only parameters.
Due to my haste to finish in time for the first rehearsal, I was not completely pleased with that 2006 manuscript. So when the opportunity to revisit the suite came in 2015 with the formation of Manitou Winds, I was eager to do more justice to certain elements while exploring the new timbral possiblities of a piano sextet.
The first movement, Processional, is a sonata-allegro pastiche inspired by three of the great pillars of Classical style (Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven). The second movement, Sunset Roses, served as the bride’s entrance therefore its title is Jamie’s favorite rose variety. In this movement, I wanted to capture the poignancy of the moment when the members of the wedding party see each other for the first time during the ceremony, and the whirlwind of happy and bittersweet emotions that permeate that instant when time seems to stand still. The third movement, These Are the Hands, served as incidental music for the unity candle lighting. This programmatic movement traces the future of a marriage with all of its joys, trials, and triumphs. In the final movement, Recessional, a rondo returns us to the pomp and swagger of the first movement but with more pronounced joviality as the wedding guests are heading to the reception.
Premiered 20 October, 2018, at Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, MI: Manitou Winds with Susan Snyder, piano.